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Search Continues for 530 Slide Survivors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2014
CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications
Shari.Ireton@co.snohomish.wa.us, Media line: 425-359-9323
OSO, Wash. – Search operations by air resumed at first light this morning. At this time, it has been confirmed that 18 people remain unaccounted for, three people are confirmed dead and at least eight were rescued from the site and transported to local hospitals. Gov. Jay Inslee, Senator Patty Murray, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and others will speak with the media at noon today.
Two helicopters have been conducting air operations, SnoHAWK10 and SnoHAWK1, from the Sheriff’s Office. Air operations are surveying and mapping the site. The King County Sheriff’s Office is providing air support for elected officials to survey the site.
Ground rescue operations remain extremely hazardous due to the debris field, which has been described by rescuers as a “quicksand-like consistency”. Crews are attempting to reach the affected area from both the west side (Oso) and east side (Darrington).
The Red Cross confirmed that the shelter at Post Middle School had 27 overnight occupants and one occupant at the Darrington Community Center. The total number of people displaced by the slide is unknown.
The Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management has lifted the evacuation order during daylight hours, but it is expected to reinstate this evening.
People who wish to help are asked to donate to the Red Cross by texting “90999”. Those with questions about reunification with family who may be missing and evacuation or shelter information should call 425-388-5088.
State Route 530 remains closed from the Oso Fire Department (21824 Washington 530) on the west side of the slide and from Little French Creek Rd (milepost 42) the on the east side of the slide.