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AFTERSHOCKS STILL ROCK IRANIAN QUAKE AREA

Aftermath: 3 found alive under rubble. Tehran accepting relief help.

Seismologists recorded a cluster of aftershocks overnight in northwestern Iran, where two women and a boy were found alive under the rubble of a village destroyed by last week's massive earthquake, the official news agency said Wednesday.

The Islamic Republic News Agency also reported two accidents involving rescue workers.The agency said an Iranian military helicopter on a rescue mission crashed Wednesday in the mountainous Kelishom region. Bad weather conditions were reported in the quake-hit region at the time of the crash.

No details of the condition of the relief workers aboard nor other details were provided in the report.

In another incident, Iraj Amjadian, a 19-year-old student from the western province of Bakhtaran, was killed when a wall collapsed during rescue operations, the news agency said.

Earlier Wednesday, the agency reported a 40-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son were found injured Tuesday under the rubble in the village of Kelishom and taken immediately to hospital.

The third survivor, a woman, was found uninjured in the same area Tuesday, said the dispatch from Roudbar, about 145 miles northwest of Tehran.

The news agency gave no more details and did not name the survivors, who were the latest found in the rubble left by the June 21 earthquake that measured 7.7 on the Richter scale.

The Red Crescent organization, Iran's equivalent of the Red Cross, put the casualty count at 40,000 dead and 50,000 injured, but Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said Monday the death toll was at least 50,000.

The Geophysics Institute of Tehran University said at least 50 aftershocks, including three temblors measuring more than 4 on the Richter scale, were recorded between Tuesday night and early Wednesday in quake-stricken villages and towns.

"The tremors followed the Thursday's devastating earthquake which claimed 100,000 casualties, turned into ruins vast fertile areas and made over half a million homeless in Gilan and Zanjan provinces in northern and northwestern Iran," the Iranian news agency reported.

It said at least 350 aftershocks have been registered since last Thursday.

Despite reports that 15 other people were found alive Monday in the town of Manjil, international relief workers said Tuesday they were winding down their search for survivors. Relief work was expected to continue.

In contrast, the Iranian news agency said the discovery of the latest survivors encouraged Iranian rescue teams to redouble their efforts. Iranian volunteers using bulldozers and other means continued clearing the rubble from several quake-hit towns and some 1,500 villages.

The International Red Cross also said half a million people were left homeless, and Iran has said it would gladly accept help from abroad in the form of prefabricated housing and architects to assist in rebuilding some of the destroyed towns.

Tehran radio said helicopters were dropping relief supplies to survivors in villages in the Alborz Mountains still inaccessible by road.

The Iranian news agency said 39 more military and civilian aircraft carrying relief supplies from 19 countries landed at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport Tuesday, bringing to 171 the number of relief flights since Thursday.