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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   |   Comments

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.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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