Americas

Monday 28 July 2014

18 missing after Washington mudslide that killed three

Published 23/03/2014|17:11

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Officials survey a large mudslide in this handout photo provided by the Washington State Police near Oso, Washington March 22, 2014. The mudslide pushed debris and at least one house onto Highway 530 near Oso Saturday morning according to local news reports. Search and rescue crews were responding to the scene.  REUTERS/Washington State Police/Handout via Reuters   (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Officials survey a large mudslide in this handout photo provided by the Washington State Police near Oso, Washington
Members of a swift water rescue team look on as a truck pulling a horse trailer drives in the opposite direction of a large mudslide that has blocked Highway 530 near Oso, Washington March 22, 2014. Three people died and at least eight others were injured on Saturday in a landslide that destroyed six or more homes along a state highway in northwest Washington state, officials said. REUTERS/Jason Redmond (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)
Members of a swift water rescue team look on as a truck pulling a horse trailer drives in the opposite direction of a large mudslide that has blocked Highway 530 near Oso, Washington
Members of a swift water rescue team huddle as an ambulance heads in the direction of a large mudslide that has blocked Highway 530 near Oso, Washington March 22, 2014. Three people died and at least eight others were injured on Saturday in a landslide that destroyed six or more homes along a state highway in northwest Washington state, officials said. REUTERS/Jason Redmond (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)
Members of a swift water rescue team huddle as an ambulance heads in the direction of a large mudslide that has blocked Highway 530 near Oso, Washington March

Authorities say 18 people are unaccounted for after a massive mudslide in Washington state killed at least three people and forced evacuations because of fears of flooding.

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Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said at a news briefing today that they suspect there are people out there, but the situation is too dangerous for rescuers.

He said the slide is "basically like quicksand." Searchers had to turn back late Saturday after attempting a rescue in an area where signs of life were heard.

Authorities are using helicopters, and plan to drop rescuers into areas if they find signs of life

The slide has blocked about a mile of a state highway. Several people - including an infant - were critically injured and at least six houses were destroyed.

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