Fire Officials Astounded By The Force of Oso Landslide

Mar 26, 2014

The death toll from Saturday’s massive landslide is now 24.

That includes eight whose bodies have not yet been recovered.

Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots says the sheer magnitude and force of the mud is astounding.

Hots: "You know, when I pictured this slide I pictured vehicles parked there. And if somebody was in their vehicle when the mudslide came on, that we would just dig through the mud and pull ‘em out of their car and they’d be okay. But what we’re finding is these vehicles are like twisted and tore up into pieces. You know I saw a car out there and I saw one piece of the car, like an eighth of the car. It was just all twisted." 

Hots says that’s what’s happening to boats, too, and entire buildings.

The mud is like cement and sometimes like quicksand.

The rain is making access to the square mile of mud even more treacherous.

Still, Hots says he’s holding out hope of finding someone alive.

The rescue operations are just that, rescue-it’s not yet been switched to a recovery operation.

Dozens are still missing.

Several are injured, including a baby boy.

He’s at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, in critical condition.

But a spokesperson says his condition is improving.

Today officials say search efforts will continue as they have all week, with finding survivors as the number one priority.

Copyright 2014 KUOW