Colorado National Guard sends team to help with search, recovery efforts

by: Essex Porter Updated:

Searchers stand at the site of a deadly mudslide, Friday, March 28, 2014, in Oso, Wash. Besides the 26 bodies already found, dozens more people could be buried in the debris pile left from the mudslide nearly one week ago. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson, Pool)

The Washington National Guard is sending 66 more soldiers to help with search and recovery efforts at the deadly mudslide near Oso, says a spokeswoman for the Washington State Military Department. 

In addition, the Colorado National Guard is sending a specialized Fatality Search and Recovery team with to join the Washington National Guard team already on the scene. The Colorado team will help the Washington team with the physically and mentally taxing work.

 
The Washington Guard is sending 50 additional soldiers from the 176th Engineering Company in Snohomish County to provide additional support to the Search and Extraction Team already at the scene. 

This additional manpower will supplement the current operation - and allow the Washington National Guard to spend more time searching and clearing the debris field.

Plus the Washington Guard is sending two eight-soldier decontaminations teams, one to Arlington on the west side of the slide, the other to Darrington on the east side of the slide. 

These teams will be located on either side of the debris field and will help clean the mud-covered crews leaving the scene. They'll replace two Fire Engine teams that have been on the scene for nearly a week.