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Avalanche kills four skiers in Salt Lake City area

By
Allen Cone

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Four skiers died and four others survived an avalanche, the first fatal one of the season in the Salt Lake County.

The skiers, ranging in age from 23 to 48, were involved in the deadly slide, reported to be at 9,800 feet elevation near Wilson Glade in Millcreek Canyon around 11 a.m. Saturday, Unified police said.

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The avalanche covered 250 feet of ground and the hurtled snow was 2.5 feet deep, according to the Utah Avalanche Center.

All eight of the skiers were wearing beacons at the time of the avalanche, and one of the survivors experienced hypothermia and others were doing well, according to authorities.

Conditions of the survivors were not disclosed, but officials say they were able to locate and dig out the other four, who had already died.

The Utah Avalanche Center posted on Twitter "we are overwhelmed with sadness to report" the deaths.

"This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved," Gov. Spencer Cox posted on Twitter. "We are grateful to the first responders and others who engaged in this rescue and recovery effort. With avalanche danger high right now, please exercise extreme caution."

Two other avalanches occurred last month in the Park City backcountry: a skier in the Square Top area and a snowboarder in Dutch Draw.

The last time four people died in an avalanche: Feb. 13, 1992, at Gold Basin outside Moab, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. They were part of a volunteer avalanche observation team with the U.S. Forest Service.

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