Washington mudslide death toll at 27; some victims still unidentified
The confirmed death toll from the Washington landslide continues to rise, with officials confirming Tuesday morning that they have recovered the remains of at least 27 people.
The latest tally from the Snohomish County medical examiner said officials have identified the remains of only 19 of the 27 confirmed victims and were working “diligently” to confirm the rest.
All of those identified were from Snohomish County and died from multiple blunt-force injuries, according to the examiner’s office.
Twenty-two people remained missing after the March 22 disaster in Oso, Wash., as of Monday evening. Officials released the names, ages and addresses of the missing.
After more than a week of intensive searching by as many as 500 rescuers and workers, a “significantly” smaller contingent has been tasked with continuing to scour the disaster area, where some debris was piled 60 to 75 feet high, officials said.
Much of the pile is 15 to 25 feet deep, officials said, presenting a challenge to search dogs whose sense of smell might only detect scents up to 10 feet below the ground.
Some of the dogs have indicated that there might be human remains in areas where there is still standing water, leading rescuers to attempt to pump out those areas, officials said Monday.
Two search dogs were suffering from hypothermia on Sunday and had to be treated, officials said.