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Some 108 people unaccounted for after mudslide near Seattle

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 01:25

March 24 - The number of individuals unaccounted for after Saturday's deadly mudslide in Washington state has risen from 18 to 108.

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Washington state officials said on Monday (March 24) that the number of individuals unaccounted for after a deadly mudslide on Saturday morning 55 miles northeast of Seattle has risen from 18 to 108. John Pennington, who directs Snohomish County emergency management services, cautioned that the new number is gleaned from a "consolidated list" and does not necessarily represent fatalities or the number of people actually missing. "In some cases that list is very detailed. It's John who had brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood," Pennington told reporters during a morning news conference. "In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, I met him once, I think he lived over there," he said. Eight people are also known to have died after the landslide buried homes and cars under mud and tangled debris up to 15 feet 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 in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains along the Stillaguamish River was triggered after rain-soaked embankments along State Route 530 near Oso gave way, washing away homes. On Sunday, Pennington said over nearly 110 parcels of land had been impacted by the mudslide, nearly half of which had some kind of structure including homes, RV's and cabins. Steve Thomson, director of the county's public works department, said the slide debris field that is now laying at the bottom of the river is more than a mile long and probably 1,000 feet wide. "It's massive, its the biggest thing I've seen seen in 30 years," he said. The affected highway was closed in both directions, with no timeline for it to be reopened, he said. Washington state Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen has declared a state of emergency in Snohomish County.

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Some 108 people unaccounted for after mudslide near Seattle

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 01:25