ARLINGTON, Washington: Emergency workers have recovered two more bodies after a US landslide and located another eight corpses in the debris, officials said on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), bringing the death toll to 24.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any signs of life,” Snohomish County fire district chief Travis Hots told an evening briefing, three days after the massive mudslide in the northwestern US state of Washington.
The number of reports of people unaccounted for remains at 176, although that could include double-counting and people who may turn up elsewhere, and so likely does not represent how many more fatalities may be found.
On Monday, the confirmed death toll rose to 14 following the mudslide which hit the town of Oso in Snohomish County, 60 miles (95 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.
A total of 49 dwellings in the rural town were hit by the one square mile (2.5 square kilometer) wall of mud, rocks and trees, which also destroyed part of a highway.
Hots said the massive emergency operation was still aimed at rescuing survivors as well as recovering bodies, even though the chances of finding people alive diminish with each day.
“We haven’t lost hope that there’s a possibly that we can find someone,” he said.