Home / Metro News / US landslide death toll rises to 14

US landslide death toll rises to 14

Authorities in the US state of Washington have found six more bodies after Saturday’s huge landslide, bringing the number known to have been killed to 14, say police.

Officials now say as many as 176 people may remain unaccounted for after the 177ft (54m) wall of mud hit near the town of Oso, north of Seattle.

Search crews have worked day and night, using helicopters and laser imaging.

But officials admit they have little hope of finding survivors.

President Barack Obama has declared an emergency in Washington state and ordered federal authorities to co-ordinate the disaster relief effort.

Speaking earlier after surveying the area from the air, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said it was “devastation beyond imagination”.

He said the slide “basically cut a mountain in two” and deposited it on the town below. Nothing in the path of the slide was still standing.

“It’s that absolute devastation that causes us all real pain,” he said.

Family members and volunteers were using chainsaws and their bare hands to shift the wreckage and try to find those missing.

Cory Kuntz, helped by others, worked with chainsaws to cut through the roof of his uncle’s house, which was swept about 450ft (137m) from its location.

He said his aunt, Linda McPherson, had been killed. He and the others pulled files and personal effects from the house.

“When you look at it, you just kind of go in shock,” he said.

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