Death Toll At 33 In Washington State Mudslide
Residents bow their heads during a prayer service Friday at Haller Middle School in Arlington, Wash., that was dedicated to the communities affected by the Highway 530 mudslide. Marcus Yam/AP
The number of dead from last month’s mudslide near Oso, Wash., has been officially raised to 33 by the Snohomish County medical examiner’s office. All but three of the victims have been identified, and 10 people are still missing in the mud and debris.
Billy L. Spillers, 30, of Arlington, Wash., is among the newly identified victims. Like all of the victims recovered so far, Spillers died of blunt force trauma, the medical examiner said.
According to The Associated Press:
“Spillers was a Navy chief petty officer who lived with his wife Jonielle and their four children. She was at her nursing job when the landslide hit their house. Spillers’ 4-year-old son survived and was rescued by a helicopter.
“Spillers’ daughter Kaylee, 5, and stepson Jovon Mangual, 13, have been identified among the dead. Two-year-old daughter Brooke is listed among the missing.”
Reuters says recovery efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and the risk of further mudslides and flash floods. But the forecast calls for warmer and drier weather later in the week.
Here are two related stories from NPR member stations in Seattle:
— In Wake Of Deadly Slide, Chaplains Responding To Emotional Emergencies (KPLU)
— Funeral Dinners Help Darrington Cope With Losses (KUOW)