Mar 23, 2014 1:32 PM by Associated Press - Greg Dingrando

Rescue crews told to back off from mudslide

ARLINGTON, WASH - News from the scene of a giant mudslide in Washington state remains grim this morning.

Officials said three people are dead and 18 others are still unaccounted for after the mudslide northeast of Seattle.

Rescue crews could hear voices coming from underneath the debris, but searchers had to turn back after attempting to rescue people in the area. The fire chief there said it was too dangerous to send people into mud that is "like quicksand." Authorities are using helicopters for the search, and plan to drop rescuers into areas if they find signs of life.

The mudslide was at least 135 feet wide and 180 feet deep.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said it completely blocked State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.



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