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In tornado zone, hopes fade in survivor search

By Jay Reeves

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 5 2011 3:25 a.m. MDT

K9 Search and Rescue Specialists Inc., Tracy Sargent works with her cadaver dog Cinco as they search an apartment complex for survivors or victims in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Authorities have said they expect the search will continue for at least another week.

Dave Martin, Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A yellow mutt named Chance sniffs through the splintered limbs of a toppled tree and sits down near a piece of carpet that came from someone's home. It's his way of telling handler Tracy Sargent that human remains are nearby.

Such scenes are common as hope fades for finding survivors a week after tornadoes ravaged the South, killing 329 people in seven states and leaving an uncertain number missing or unaccounted for when entire communities were ripped from their foundations and thrown across hollows and hills. In Tuscaloosa alone, officials say, more than two dozen dog teams are searching a massive debris field that stretches for miles, and still more could arrive.

Mayor Walt Maddox fears there aren't many survivors left to rescue.

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