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The Globe and Mail

In pictures: Toxic substances may complicate mudslide rescue efforts

The death toll from Washington's lethal mudslide rose to 24, a Snohomish County official said Monday afternoon. Recovery efforts are also being hampered by a mix of toxic contaminants

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An American flag from the only cedar post left standing at the scene of a deadly mudslide Monday, March 31, 2014, in Oso, Wash.

Sofia Jaramillo/AP

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People dig in the mud by hand as the search continues for victims and possessions in the mudslide that hit Oso, Washington March 31, 2014. Recovery teams struggling through thick mud up to their armpits and heavy downpours at the site of the devastating landslide in Washington state are facing yet another challenge - an unseen and potentially dangerous stew of toxic contaminants.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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Workers continue to dig for victims in the mudslide that hit Oso, Washington March 31, 2014.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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Workers continue to dig for victims below the cliff that gave way in a a mudslide that hit Oso, Washington March 31, 2014.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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The cliff that gave way in a a mudslide that hit Oso, Washington is seen March 31, 2014.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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Highway 530 (top) disappears into a massive mudslide that destroyed Oso, Washington, March 31, 2014.

RICK WILKING/REUTERS

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Bellvue firefighter Richard Burke stands next to a tattered American flag recovered in the Oso mudslide, March 31, 2014.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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The cliff that collapsed into a massive mudslide is seen covered with felled trees in Oso, Washington March 31, 2014.

RICK WILKING/REUTERS

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A man digs in the mud by hand as the search continues for victims and possessions in the mudslide that hit Oso, Washington March 31, 2014. Recovery teams struggling through thick mud up to their armpits and heavy downpours at the site of the devastating landslide in Washington state are facing yet another challenge - an unseen and potentially dangerous stew of toxic contaminants.

Sofia Jaramillo/REUTERS

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