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Washington mudslide death toll expected to climb

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:24

March 29 - Rescue workers battle fatigue, poor weather as they search for 90 people still missing a week after the Washington state mudslide. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Another day slogging through heaps of mud and debris. Ninety people are still missing a week after the mudslide in Washington state. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARLINGTON RESIDENT DANA WILLIAMS SAYING: "I've got friends who are up their digging, and so they're doing what they can. There is not much we can do." The official death toll is 17. More bodies have been found, but they must reach the medical examiner's office before they can be counted. The search has been exhausting and emotional, says Steve Mason, a Snohomish County fire battalion chief. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SNOHOMISH COUNTY FIRE BATTALION CHIEF, STEVE MASON, SAYING: "These individuals come in up to waist deep in mud that they've been going through. They've been digging through stuff. They've seeing things that most people shouldn't have to see." Members of the community console each other as best they can - including Pickles, a therapy and crisis response dog. Raquel Lackey works with Hope Animal Assisted Correspondence. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAQUEL LACKY OF HOPE ANIMAL ASSISTED CORRESPONDENCE, SAYING: "Our job is to respond to the first responders and those that have been impacted by tragic events. The dogs actually do all the work. They're the bridge. They're able to connect with people where humans cannot usually." An estimated 180 people lived in the path of the landslide. Officials say some of those killed might never be found.

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Washington mudslide death toll expected to climb

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:24