News

Death toll in Washington state mudslides rises to 37

Death toll in Washington state mudslides rises to 37

MUDSLIDE:A view is seen of the large debris pile left by a mudslide in Oso, Washington, April 4. Photo: Reuters/Max Whittaker

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) – The official death toll from a mudslide that buried a river valley neighborhood in the Cascade foothills of Washington state last month rose to 37 on Tuesday, after search teams extricated another body from the mud and rubble.

A rain-soaked hillside collapsed above the north fork of the Stillaguamish River on March 22, unleashing a torrent of mud that swallowed up a stretch of a state highway and some three dozen homes on the outskirts of the tiny community of Oso.

Of the 37 people confirmed dead, 36 have been positively identified, most recently a 14-year-old boy on Friday, Snohomish County officials said in a statement. The death toll stood at 36 on Monday.

PHOTOS: Oso mudslide 

Recovery crews were still searching for another seven people listed as missing. Their efforts in recent days have benefited from dry weather, a welcome change from periods of rain that have caused treacherous conditions and raised the risk of more slides and flash floods.

President Barack Obama has plans to visit Oso next week to view the disaster site and meet with survivors and grieving relatives of the victims, as well as first responders and recovery workers.

No one has been pulled alive from the rubble since the hours immediately following the mudslide, when at least eight people suffered injuries. Rescue teams have found no signs of life since the day of the disaster.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in Olympia, Wash., Editing by Steve Gorman and Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Aldermen Want Public Input on Medical Marijuana Zoning Rules

municipalcenter

The public will likely get a chance to weigh in on potential zoning changes as medical marijuana rules take effect.

in Local

Rauner: Fight Over Term Limits is Not Over

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Rauner is publicly calling upon Illinois' appellate and Supreme Courts to approve a term limit referendum

in Local

Some Lawmakers Hopeful School Funding Bill Sees the Light of Day This Fall

manar school funding

Proposal would base funding on need, not student population

in Local

Possibly Armed Man Smashes Bus Window, Runs into West Side Hotel

police_lights

Springfield Police are investigating what they say was an "agitated man" on an SMTD bus.

in Local

Illinois Confirms First Human West Nile Case

mosquito

The state has its first human case of West Nile virus of the year.