Death Toll From Oso Slide Climbs To 27

Apr 1, 2014

The official death toll from Washington state's mudslide has increased to 27, with the Snohomish County medical examiner's office saying 19 victims have been positively identified. That's up from 24 dead with 18 identified on Monday.

Workers are trying to improve the flow of the Stillaguamish River through the landslide at Oso to reduce flooding as they continue the grim task of recovering bodies.

The latest name added to the list is 58-year-old Brandy L. Ward of Arlington. Like the rest she was killed by blunt force injuries in the March 22 slide.

Officials say receding floodwaters at the site of the mudslide are helping in the search for human remains by exposing more sites that can be examined.

Search effort division supervisor Steve Harris said at a news briefing that more human remains were found Tuesday morning at least in part because of the receding water.

The massive mudslide dammed up the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, causing water to pool. Heavy rain last week added to the flooding.