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Toxic contaminants a threat under mudslide muck

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 - 01:07

March 31 - Recovery workers face a new threat -- potentially dangerous toxic contaminants beneath thick mud at the site of Washington state's devastating landslide. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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As if heavy downpours and thick mud weren't enough to deal with. Recovery teams are now facing another dangerous challenge - toxic contaminants. Sewage, propane, household solvents and other chemicals lie underneath mud and rubble. And special measures are helping to protect hundreds of workers at the scene of Washington state's devastating mudslide: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIVISION SUPERVISOR FOR THE EASTERN INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM, STEVE HARRIS, SAYING: "Hazardous material staff on scene. And also we have decontamination facilities set up. Everybody that goes out to the incident scene, that gets out of the vehicle, has to be decontaminated when they leave the scene. So there are procedures set in place." The official death toll stood at 21 on Monday, and 30 people are still unaccounted for. An ongoing recovery mission with a unique set of challenges: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIVISION SUPERVISOR FOR THE EASTERN INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM, STEVE HARRIS, SAYING: "There's a lot of work to be done yet -- a lot of work. In places, up to 70 feet deep." Despite nine days of recovery efforts, no one has been pulled out alive and no signs of life have been detected since the day of the slide.

Toxic contaminants a threat under mudslide muck

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 - 01:07

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