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Death toll from US mudslide set to rise " substantially" as search enters sixth day

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Death toll from US mudslide set to rise " substantially" as search enters sixth day

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It is day six of a desperate search for human life among the rubble and mud in the town of Oso north east of Seattle in the US.

The number of fatalities will rise “substantially” in the next two days authorities said after a rain soaked hill collapsed on Saturday without warning.

Sixteen bodies have been recovered, nine found but not yet retrieved.

“Let’s talk about the numbers. Ninety last night missing or unaccounted for. That’s still the case. Technically we’ve recovered nobody yesterday. So what you are going to see in the next 24 to 48 hours, as the medical examiner’s office catches up with the difficult work they have to do, you’re going to see this number increase substantially,” said Travis Hots, Snohomish County Fire Chief

Heavy excavation equipment and search dogs have led the way backed by about 200 rescue workers. But fears have been expressed the remains of some victims will never be recovered.

Survivors were last pulled alive from the mud which destroyed about 30 houses on Saturday.