Mudslide near Oso claims at least eight lives

Mudslide near Oso claims at least eight lives

Photo: KGMI/Washington State Patrol

KGMI News Reporting, complied with ABC News and AP News

MARYSVILLVE, Wash. – Searchers worked through the night in Snohomish County digging through debris to find victims trapped under a massive mudslide near Oso, Washington.

The slide was triggered after rain-soaked embankments along State Route 530 gave way Saturday.

Four more bodies were discovered Sunday afternoon bringing the death toll to at least eight.

As many as 30 homes were destroyed by the mudslide.

In a news conference, Snohomish County Fire District Chief Travis Hots said some areas are still inaccessible.

Play Travis Hots on mudslide

At least a dozen people are still missing.

John Pennington with the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management says officials will introduce a streamlined process to report missing persons sometime today.

Play John Pennington on missing

The number of missing may go up since the debris swallowed part of Highway 530 filled with traffic.

Tad Merritt, one of the many residents forced to leave their homes, says he has faith the community will persevere.

Play Tad Merritt on community

Several lawmakers toured the site Sunday, including Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.

Play Suzan DelBene comments

Senator Patty Murray also thanked the emergency crews digging through thick mud for victims.

Play Patty Murray comments

Governor Jay Inslee described the scene of the mudslide as a square mile of “total devastation” after flying over the disaster area.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office says the Stillaguamish River is slowly trickling through the wall of mud.

The square-mile of mud has raised concerns about potential flooding.

Officials say they don’t think the water will suddenly burst through.

The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood watch into Monday afternoon.

Governor Inslee said Sunday that there are no plans to move the debris blocking the river.


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