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Rescuers fear no more survivors in deadly Washington mudslide

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fourteen confirmed dead; those missing number at 176

Hope is in short supply in Oso, Washington, after a giant mudslide has washed away much of the rural mountain community here. Fourteen have been confirmed dead, and the number of people unaccounted for has grown to 176. Some rescuers have privately said that they fear that all of those missing are presumed dead.

Crews are using chain saws, as well as their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage. Friends and relatives have begun to tally missing loved ones.

Crews are using chain saws, as well as their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage. Friends and relatives have begun to tally missing loved ones.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/25/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Washington, mudslide, Oso, survivors


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than 100 homes were struck after a rain-soaked hillside in the town, 50 miles north of Seattle, collapsed Saturday morning.

The massive mudslide that killed at least 14 people on Saturday and left 176 missing is shown in thi

The massive mudslide that killed at least 14 people on Saturday and left 176 missing is shown in this aerial photo taken on Monday, March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Washington.


More than 100 rescue workers with dogs, aircraft and sonar equipment have scoured the remnants of the steep hillside looking for survivors.

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The search for survivors grew desperate on Monday, raising fears that the death toll could climb far

The search for survivors grew desperate on Monday, raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the eight confirmed fatalities.


Crews are using chain saws, as well as their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage. Friends and relatives have begun to tally missing loved ones.

A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington st

A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning.


Six additional bodies were found from the original eight. This tragic news was relayed by Twitter. Emergency management officials express doubt anyone else would be plucked alive from the muck that engulfed dozens of homes.
 
Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the

Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the massive mudslide that killed at least eight people on Saturday and left dozens missing.


Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of people unaccounted for had ballooned from 18 to 176. County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters that "the situation is very grim," but added that many of those names could be duplicates.

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso.


"We're holding out hope, but keep in mind we've not found anybody alive on this pile since Saturday," he said. "The 176, I believe very strongly is not a number we're going to see in fatalities. I believe it's going to drop dramatically," he said.

From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Sa

From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Washington as the search for survivors grew on Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for.


He noted that the list of missing is at times vaguely defined. "In some cases, that list is very detailed. It's 'John, who has brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood.'" Pennington said. "In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, 'I met him once. I think he lived over there.'"

Rescuers do not expect the death toll to match the number of missing. Most are concerned that many people were home when the slide struck at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning with such power it was described as being like a "bulldozer."

The death toll so far stood at eight on Monday morning, but the tragic discovery of six bodies on Mo

The death toll so far stood at eight on Monday morning, but the tragic discovery of six bodies on Monday evening was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive.


Several dozen homes were believed to have sustained some damage from the slide, Pennington told reporters at a command post in the nearby town of Arlington.

The National Guard is expected to arrive shortly to aid the search of the leveled homes and cars across the one-mile square area hit.

Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster.

Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster.


Stories at the scene are heart-breaking. Nursing assistant Jonielle Spillers fears that she may have lost three of her four children and her husband - while her youngest boy managed to barely escape the slide.

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