The Death Toll At Mudslide Rises-Mountain Blew Out From The Bottom

By Lisa Brooks

It's becoming a regular occurrence, increasing the official tally of the dead in the aftermath of the massive landslide near the community of Oso, Washington. In the latest briefing from the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office-the number rose by one--to 29.

Going through the list of identified victims, there is one unifying theme--all were killed by blunt-force trauma, when the massive hillside gave way.
 
Some new information about how the mountainside collapsed comes from investigators on the scene. Lieutenant Richard Burke, a firefighter and incident spokesman, says the slide did not start like a traditional avalanche, which starts at the top and slides down the mountain.
 
Instead, it blew out at the bottom, and because of the weight on top of that, it blew across the Stillaguamish River--bringing its waters and debris along with it--covering the community.
 
Several inches of rain are expected to fall in the coming days, hampering recovery efforts.
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