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March 24th, 2014
08:42 PM ET

Death toll continues rising in Washington landslide

(CNN) - The number of dead and missing after a deadly weekend landslide in rural Washington grew Monday as fears of a new collapse drove searchers off part of the pile left behind.

Rescuers aided by dogs, sonar equipment and aircraft were still trying to find trapped survivors in Oso, a remote town north of Seattle, Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Shari Ireton said. About 100 people were attacking the slide from both sides. But authorities grew concerned that another slide could occur Monday afternoon, she said.

Geologists were advising the rescue effort on the risks, Ireton said, but in the meantime, "Ground crews have been pulled back."

With six bodies found Monday, the toll from Saturday's disaster north of Seattle grew to 14 dead, Snohomish County reported through its official Twitter account. Seven people are reported injured.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of people unaccounted for ballooned from 18 to 108, but that doesn't mean all of them are trapped somewhere in the wall of earth.Ireton said some names on that list "could be overlaps."

Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters that "the situation is very grim."

"We're holding out hope, but keep in mind we've not found anybody alive on this pile since Saturday," he said.

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