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Washington mudslide kills 14 with 176 missing: Mud smothers one square mile area

The Washington mudslide has killed 14, but this number is expected to rise with the 176 people still missing in this catastrophe. The mud, now like quicksand, has devoured all that stood in its path, according to Fox News on March 25.

Washington mudslide killed 14 with 176 still missing. Searchers continue their rescue efforts today.
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

The massive search for the missing is overwhelming as the area of this mudslide is so vast. A four-year-old boy was rescued as he was sinking in this quick-sand-like mud, which was waist-deep. The child's family is still among the missing. A neighbor took the boy in while the search continued for his family.

While this search is still in a rescue mode, authorities are going to be calling this a recover effort soon, as the hopes of finding victims alive are waning. This mudslide struck the town on Oso, Washington on Saturday morning.

This was a time when many were home for the weekend instead of at work or school as would have been the case during a weekday. Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Host said today that they are expecting the number of the dead to “go up throughout the day.”

As of Tuesday, there are 156 people at the site looking for possible survivors buried under all the ruble. It is dangerous for the search parties because the ground is so unstable in this devastated rural area of Washington State.

It was late on Monday when searchers discovered another six bodies, putting the death toll at 14 today. Rescue workers pulled a 22-week-old baby out of the rubble over the weekend and the baby’s mother is still among the missing.

The mudslide covers one square mile and the rescue effort is described as grim with the rescue efforts slowly becoming a recovery effort. The governor of Washington spoke with President Obama and he has declared the scene a disaster area, signing the declaration which makes more resources available to the state.

Homes in the area were evacuated and shelters were opened in an area school and a community center.