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US Mudslide Kills 3, with 18 Missing

  • VOA News

A massive landslide in the western U.S. state of Washington has killed three people and left 18 others unaccounted for.

Authorities say a wall of mud, trees and rocks cascaded down a mountainside in a rural area north of the major city of Seattle on Saturday, demolishing as many as 30 houses in its path. Eight people were injured.

Rescue workers heard voices crying for help and searched through the night into Sunday for survivors. But authorities said the rescuers were unable to reach some areas because the mud was still moving and was "like quicksand."

One motorist described seeing the mudslide.

"I was the third car behind a truck with a boat. I saw the darkness washing everything off the road. I am not sure that truck made it through."

Officials blamed the mudslide on groundwater saturation after recent heavy rainfalls.