Snohomish Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots says he is not giving up hope of finding someone alive in the Oso landslide, even as others have suggested that the operation has shifted toward a recovery effort.
During a Thursday morning press briefing, Hots was emphatic in saying that all the work of searchers is worth it if even one more person is found alive.
"My heart is telling me that I’m not giving up yet. My philosophy is, even if we say that this is just a recovery mission, we are still going at this full steam ahead. In my book, it doesn’t matter. We’re not changing gears. We’re not changing the pace of this. And we’re going to exhaust all options to try to find somebody alive. All of these resources that we’ve had here since Saturday, if we just find one more person that’s alive, to me, that’s worth it. That’s worth it. We’re going to continue on.”
Twenty-five people have reportedly been killed, although Hots said the official number will remain at 16 until the medical examiner's office does it's work. He said the numbers would increase substantially.
There are reports of 90 people missing or unaccounted for.