Search on hold for 3 men missing in massive mudslide in western Colorado due to unstable conditions

COLLBRAN, Colo. - The search for three men missing after a massive mudslide struck a remote part of western Colorado is on hold for now, because the area is too unstable.

Fifty-one-year-old county road worker Clancy Nichols, his 24-year-old son Danny and 46-year-old Wes Hawkins have been missing since Sunday after rain-saturated ridge collapsed.

The three men had gone to check on a smaller slide that had occurred earlier when the massive slide happened, according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

The mudslide is estimated to be about 2-to-3 miles long, at least a half-mile wide, and about 250 feet deep, in many places.

About 40-50 searchers concentrated on the more stable bottom half of the slide and went into the slide from the side edges -- where the mud is 20 to 30 feet deep. The upper portion is considered too unstable and is at risk of sliding again.

Mesa County officials said the slide -- made up of timber, rocks, snow, dirt and mud -- moved an additional 20 feet Sunday night.

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