Authorities Raise Number Of Dead In Mudslide To 24

Update at 9:38 p.m. EDT

Snohomish County authorities say they believe 22 people are still missing in the deadly March 22 mudslide near Oso, Wash.

It's a tiny bit of good news in a heartbreaking story: The number is down from the 30 they had previously thought were missing.

The death toll remains at 24.

Our Original Post

The number of people who died because of the Oso, Wash., mudslide has risen to 24, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said on Monday.

The ME said of the 24, they've positively identified 17 of them.

The Seattle Times reports that the number of missing stands at about 30.

KIRO-TV says crews are still digging through mud for victims, sometimes alongside family members who have not given up hope of finding someone alive. KIRO adds:

"When crews are digging in the field they're coming across toxic sewage, household solvents, gas, oil and other substances.

"Steve Harris, division supervisor for the eastern incident management team in Darrington, said the debris pile is up to 70 feet deep in places.

"While describing the force of the slide, Harris said cars were compacted down to the size of a refrigerator and that crews have been finding five to six victims a day."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from