U.S. News


8 Confirmed Dead, 108 Missing In Wash. Landslide

Hopes of finding more survivors are beginning to dim as the local fire chief says no voices were heard amongst the debris Sunday.
Posted at 2:00 PM, Mar 24, 2014

The death toll increased late Sunday in the massive landslide north of Seattle. And Monday officials reported a staggering number of people still missing. 

"The number of missing and unaccounted for now up to 108 ... That doesn't mean they are all fatalities or injuries but stil that number is very very high."

ANCHOR: "Right now, authorities say eight people died when that one-sqare-mile mudslide slammed into a neighborhood burying homes and cars under mud as thick as 15 feet. At least 30 homes destroyed." (Via WFTS)

The Seattle Times reports the four latest bodies found were spotted by helicopter Sunday, and the Snohomish County fire chief announced they heard no more voices under the debris during the day.

Despite the devastation and no recent signs of anyone alive under the debris, family members of the missing held out hope. One woman's father was only in the path of the landslide by chance as he was called out to install a water heater.

CAROLINE NEAL: "My dad's a really quick thinker and he's ... he's someone who takes action in an emergency. If he had any warning at all, we just have to think that he's somewhere and he's safe and they just can't reach him right now." (Via KING)

Conditions in and around the landslide made it impossible for rescuers to do their job much of the weekend with officials comparing the ground to quicksand.

Officials are blaming the landslide on near-record rainfall for the month of March. Those still in the hospital recovering include a 6-month-old boy in critical condition. (Via KOMO)