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Official: 3 killed in Washington state mudslide

March 23, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) — A third person has died following a massive landslide in rural Washington state that injured at least eight others and destroyed six houses, authorities said.

The slide of dirt, trees, rocks and other debris that was at least 135 feet (41 meters) wide and 180 feet deep hit just before 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Snohomish County sheriff’s office initially reported that two people had been killed. Authorities said later Saturday that one of the people rescued died at a hospital.

The landslide completely blocked State Route 530 about 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of Seattle. People who live in nearby communities were urged to flee to higher ground.

One eyewitness told the Daily Herald that he was driving on the roadway and had to quickly brake to avoid the mudslide.

“I just saw the darkness coming across the road. Everything was gone in three seconds,” Paulo Falcao told the newspaper.

The injured included a 6-month-old boy, who was in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two other victims were in critical condition — an 81-year-old man and a 58-year-old man — while a 37-year-old man was in serious condition.

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