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Eighteen missing, three dead in Washington state landslide

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 01:48

March 23 - Eighteen people remain unaccounted for following a landslide in northwest Washington state that has already claimed three lives and injured at least eight more. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Rescue crews continue to search for survivors of a massive mudslide in Washington state. At least 3 people are confirmed dead, with at least 8 others injured and 18 people unaccounted for. Mud, trees and rocks slid across part of a state highway near Oso, north of Seattle. It destroyed six or more homes along the way. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WITNESS PAULO FALCAO, SAYING: "I was coming down the hill. I just saw the darkness, like somebody want to grab you and everything was gone in like three seconds." This woman survived with only broken a finger, after tumbling with her house. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MUDSLIDE SURVIVOR, ROBIN YOUNGBLOOD, SAYING: "It was about an hour until they air lifted us out. And then they went right back in and got a little boy named Jacob, and couldn't find the rest of his family." The boy was reunited with his mom at a shelter. In the night, crews heard voices yelling from a buried home and attempted a rescue. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SNOHOMISH COUNTY FIRE CHIEF, TRAVIS HOTS, SAYING: "They were not able to get there. The mud was just too thick and deep. They did not hear people - they couldn't hear any signs of life once they got closer to the structure where they thought it was. And so the decision based on safety was that they back out." The threat of flooding has become a real danger, with mud still blocking the rising Stillaguamish River. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF SNOHOMISH COUNTY DEPT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, JOHN PENNINGTON, SAYING: "Remember that this is a river that is dumping into a lake. It is continuing to fill up and it is eventually going to go." He described the current situation as being - quote - "a disaster within a disaster." And it's affecting a large area. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SNOHOMISH COUNTY FIRE CHIEF, TRAVIS HOTS, SAYING: "It's basically a square mile area about 6,000 feet by 6,000 feet. It's huge, several neighborhoods." Mental health workers are at the shelters to help residents cope with this disaster.

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Eighteen missing, three dead in Washington state landslide

Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 01:48