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NYPD Canine Team goes west to aid in mudslide rescue

Searchers pause for a moment of silence at

Searchers pause for a moment of silence at the scene of a deadly mudslide Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Oso, Wash. Credit: AP / Elaine Thompson

Two NYPD Canine Team officers on Thursday traveled to the state of Washington to help in rescue efforts there in the wake of devastating mudslides that have killed 30 people, officials said.

Detective Patrick Nee and his partner, Hondo, a 6-year-old German shepherd, and Officer Benjamin Colecchia and his partner, Timoshenko, a 3-year-old German shepherd, who are part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's New York Task Force 1, were activated Tuesday to help respond to the disaster, NYPD officials said in a news release.

Responders are still trying to identify remains of victims of the March 22 landslide that struck a community at Oso, which is about 55 miles north of Seattle, according to The Associated Press. The number of missing people is now 13, according to AP.

The elite unit of responders in New York Task Force 1 have been deployed to hurricanes Ike, Gustav and Katrina, and the Oklahoma City bombing, police said.

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