Fears rise that more than 8 died in mudslide

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — There are concerns that the number of deaths from a mudslide over the weekend in Washington state will climb far above the eight people who've been confirmed dead so far.

A 1-square-mile mudslide on Saturday swept through part of a former fishing village about 55 miles north of Seattle. The list of people who've been reported missing or who are unaccounted for contains 108 names -- but authorities say that figure will probably decline dramatically.

In addition to those killed, several people were critically injured. About 30 homes were destroyed. The debris is blocking a 1-mile stretch of state highway.

The slide struck at a time of the weekend when most people are at home. Of the 49 structures in the neighborhood hit by the slide, authorities believe at least 25 were occupied full time.

Also possibly among the missing are construction workers coming into the neighborhood and people who were just driving by.

Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground that was made unstable by recent heavy rainfall.

%@AP Links

228-a-14-(Chief Travis Hots, Snohomish (snuh-HOH'-mish) County Fire District 21-22, at news conference)-"pile since Saturday"-Snohomish County District Fire Chief Travis Hots says crews are still in a search and rescue mode, but hope is fading. ((longer version of cut in wrap)) (24 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *228 (03/24/14)££ 00:14 "pile since Saturday"

227-w-31-(David Melendy, AP correspondent, with John Pennington, director, Snohomish County Office of Emergency Management, and Chief Travis Hots, Snohomish (snuh-HOH'-mish) County Fire District 21-22)--Authorities say the list of people reported missing or unaccounted for in the Washington mudslide includes 108 names. But AP correspondent David Melendy reports that needs clarification. (24 Mar 2014)

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APPHOTO NYKS105: This March 23, 2014 photo, made available by the Washington State Dept of Transportation shows a view of the damage from Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Wash. At least eight people were killed in the 1-square-mile slide that hit in a rural area about 55 miles northeast of Seattle on Saturday. Several people also were critically injured, and about 30 homes were destroyed. (AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation) (24 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO NYKS105 (03/24/14)££