Death toll in Washington mudslide hits 39

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The death toll from the massive mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso last month has risen to 39, officials said Wednesday.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said it was identifying the three bodies most recently discovered and notifying families. The sheriff's office said it has removed one name from the missing list, which previously stood at seven.

Officials didn't say whether one of the most recently recovered bodies led to the change in the missing list.

One body was found Monday and two were found Tuesday in the southeast corner of the debris field where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has erected a berm in the past week, said Koshare Eagle, a spokeswoman for the incident management team.

The 3,000-foot-long berm, made of 20,000 tons of rock, gravel and dirt, acts like a levee and allowed standing water to be pumped back into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River so searchers could enter the area, the corps said.