Three missing after giant mudslide in Colorado

It's estimated the wall of mud was 250 feet deep in some places.
By Brooks Hays   |   May 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

MESA COUNTRY, Colo., May 26 (UPI) -- The search for three missing people in Colorado is underway after a massive mudslide in Mesa County, a rural western portion of the state.

Mesa County officials say the slide stretched two miles wide and rippled down a mountain ridge for four miles before settling. It's estimated the wall of mud was 250 feet deep in some places.

There were no structures in the slide's path, but a natural gas production facility was affected, and West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association shut down area wells manually. The agency says there has not been any sign of spills.

Three people are feared missing in the destruction. The three missing locals were not caught directly in the slide but apparently went up to look at the slide in its immediate aftermath and did not return.

"This slide is unbelievably big," Lt. Phil Stratton with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office told local news reporters.

According to the Plateau Valley Fire Department, local rescue officials were alerted of slide by a witness who reported hearing a rumbling freight train-like noise -- a common characteristic of mud- and landslides.

A heavy downpour likely contributed to the slide, but further analysis won't be undertaken for several days. The area has been made off limits, as officials say it is still extremely unstable.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Germanwings pilot Lubitz buried quietly amid investigation
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence
South Korea fires warning shots at boat from North
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
Judge orders man who shot down neighbor's drone to pay $850