Sunday 19 April 2015

18 missing after Washington mudslide that killed three

Published 23/03/2014 | 17:11

Officials survey a large mudslide in this handout photo provided by the Washington State Police near Oso, Washington
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
Members of a swift water rescue team monitor radio traffic after a large mudslide 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

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.

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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