UK & World News

  • 23 March 2014, 22:15

Frantic Search As 18 Missing In Deadly Mudslide

Eighteen people are missing after a landslide killed three people and destroyed homes in Washington state.

Rescue crews have been frantically searching for survivors after hearing shouts for help from under the debris.

Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said searchers are not giving up on finding people alive, but conditions are too dangerous for rescuers.

He said the slide is "basically like quicksand."                  

The 41m (135ft) wide and 55m (180ft) deep slide of mud, rock and trees bulldozed six homes and blocked the highway and river in Oso, 17 miles east of Arlington.

Eight people were injured, including a six-month-old boy who is critically ill in the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Rescuers have been warned of the threat of flooding because the slide blocked the river.

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two other victims - an 81-year-old man and a 58-year-old man - are in a critical condition, while a 37-year-old man is seriously hurt.

Eyewitness Paulo Falcao told the Daily Herald newspaper he was driving and had to brake hard to avoid the mudslide.

He said: "I just saw the darkness coming across the road. Everything was gone in three seconds."

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