Landslide: Rescue Mode Means Search Is Slow

Mar 28, 2014

Officials say at least 25 people have been killed in the massive landslide in Washington state. 90 are still missing.

The rescue operations continue to move slowly.

Crews are using shovels, buckets, and their bare hands to dig through the mud.

Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots says they're using machinery, too, but only with extreme caution.

Hots says he does expect the fatality numbers to go up in the coming days.

Because of the scale of the debris and complexity of the geography, he says the rescue operations are going to continue for quite some time.

Meanwhile, Hots says local firefighters who've been on the scene since the landslide hit on Saturday are being relieved. Crews need to take a break and rest.

He says it's a tight-knit community and some of the responders have recovered their friends.

Family members have also been instrumental in the search because they can help identify belongings.

In some cases, they, too, have recovered their loved ones.

Copyright 2014 KUOW