Mudslide fatalities to go up substantially, official says

FILE: This aerial photo taken Monday, March 24, 2014 shows a massive mudslide, near Arlington, Wash. (Ted S. Warren, File)

March 27, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Washington state authorities say the number of mudslide fatalities will go up substantially within the next two days.

Sixteen bodies have been recovered, but officials say at least nine more had been found as of Wednesday night.

Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots said Thursday that officials are not going to count additional recovered victims until the medical examiner's office has caught up with the recovery effort.

He says the number of fatalities is expected to increase substantially within the next 24-48 hours, as the medical examiner catches up.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office so far has identified one victim, 45-year-old Christina Jefferds.

That are 90 people confirmed missing from the Saturday morning mudslide 55 miles northeast of Seattle.