Search crews, volunteers dealing with toxic mud

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DARRINGTON, Wash. - Search crews and volunteers are dealing with dangerous chemicals in the landslide area.

Monday, dozens of volunteers are tasked with picking up former resident's belongings from when their homes were washed away.

When crews are digging in the field they're coming across toxic sewage, household solvents, gas, oil and other substances.

Steve Harrisdivision supervisor for the eastern incident management team in Darrington, said the debris pile is up to 70 feet deep in places.

While describing the force of the slide, Harris said cars were compacted down to the size of a refridgerator and that crews have been finding five to six victims a day.

At the end of the day, each searcher has to be decontaminated as well as the personal items they find before they can be returned to the survivors or victims’ families.

There are concerns of dysentery, tetanus and a number of other ailments that the crews could catch and possibly spread.

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