Eight dead, 18 missing after Washington state landslide

By REUTERS
March 24, 2014 09:47
1 minute read.

 
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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Eight people were dead and at least 18 were still missing nearly two days after a landslide in Washington state buried homes and cars under mud and tangled debris up to 15 feet (5 m) deep, authorities said.

The search for victims was due to resume early on Monday after dangerous, quicksand conditions forced rescue workers to suspend their efforts at dusk on Sunday. Some workers had to be dragged to safety after becoming mired in mud to their armpits.

The landslide was triggered after rain-soaked embankments along State Route 530 near Oso, Washington, about 55 miles (90 km) northeast of Seattle, gave way on Saturday morning, washing away at least six homes.

A spokesman for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said eight bodies had been found in the square mile (2.6 square km) of tangled debris, rocks, trees and mud by Sunday evening. A further eight people were hurt in the landslide.

"We didn't find anybody alive. There was no sign of life" after a search of much of the area on foot, Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told a news conference on Sunday, adding that the tally of missing was likely to grow.

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