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River of mud: Death and destruction in a Washington state community

by Take Two®

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ARLINGTON, WA - MARCH 23: A house sits destroyed in the mud on Highway 530 next to mile marker 37 on March 23, 2014 near Arlington, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times-Pool/Getty Images) Pool/Getty Images

Officials in Washington state say at least eight people are dead and more than 100 missing after a wall of mud inundated a fishing community about 50 miles north of Seattle.

RELATED: 108 on list of missing in Washington mudslide

Area resident Sierra Sansaver heard sirens on Saturday morning.  She rushed out to see what was happening and saw a house sitting in the middle of the main highway that runs through her community.

"It was torn to pieces," Sansaver told reporter Phyliss Fletcher at Seattle public station KUOW.

"There was belongings all over the road.  And that's when everybody ran out there and they found a 6-month-old baby. The baby was blue when I saw it."

The infant was airlifted out and remains in critical condition.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by the muck, reported to be as deep as 15 feet in some areas.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee praised the first responders during a press conference held yesterday near the site.

"They rescued at least seven people, both through airlift and on the ground efforts," Inslee told reporters. But he noted that some rescuers got caught in up to their armpits and had to be dragged out by ropes themselves.

"It's just a physical impossibility of supporting the human weight in a slurry that is a problem right now," Gov. Inslee said.

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