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Four skiers are killed and four others rescued in Utah avalanche

A Saturday morning avalanche in Utah has resulted in the death of four skiers, with four others being rescued in what tied for the deadliest snowslide in state history.

The avalanche reportedly happened in in the Wilson Glade area of the Wilson Fork, which is near Alexander Basin and Gobblers Knob.

FOX 13 reports the Unified Police Department responded to a distress call in Millcreek Canyon around 11:40am.

All eight skiers were wearing avalanche beacons, electronic devices equipped with radio signals, which helped rescuers find the victims.

None of the victims have been identified publicly at this point.

The medical conditions of the four survivors is unknown, though one who reportedly had hypothermia was taken off the mountain ahead of the others.  

An avalanche in Millcreek Canyon on Saturday morning killed four skiers 

Four others managed to survive the avalanche and were later rescued from the mountain

Four others managed to survive the avalanche and were later rescued from the mountain 

Conditions were dangerous for Utah skiers on Saturday, with a high danger of avalanches

Conditions were dangerous for Utah skiers on Saturday, with a high danger of avalanches

 At least one helicopter was used in the rescue of the skiers. 

Meanwhile, the recovery efforts are ongoing for those who died in the avalanche.

The skiers all reportedly knew one another and were between 23 and 38 years old.

The ones who survived reportedly dug their way out of the snow and had to dig out the ones who did not survive as well. 

‘This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved,’ Utah Governor Spencer Cox tweeted.

‘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.’

At least one helicopter was used in the rescue of the skiers who survived the avalanche

At least one helicopter was used in the rescue of the skiers who survived the avalanche

Pictured: Medical personnel responding to the scene of the avalanche

Pictured: Medical personnel responding to the scene of the avalanche

Pictured: Medical personnel responding to the scene of the avalanche

Pictured: Medical personnel responding to the scene of the avalanche

‘We are heartbroken over the tragic news of four fatalities as the result of an avalanche in the Millcreek Canyon area this afternoon,’ Mayor Jenny Wilson told ABC4.

‘The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Canyon Search and Rescue Unit, Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Authority, and other partners are on-site responding to the situation. Additional details will follow as they become available throughout the evening. We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident.’ 

The Utah Avalanche Center warned of a high avalanche danger on Saturday morning.

On Friday, there was an avalanche in the same relative area as Saturday’s avalanche, though there were no people who were affected by it.

Six people have died in Utah as a result of avalanches this winter, including Saturday’s tragedy, according to FOX 13.

Two people died in the back country of Park City, with one skier killed in Square Top and one snowboarder killed in Dutch Draw.

Pictured: The approximate coordinates for Saturday morning's deadly avalanche

Pictured: The approximate coordinates for Saturday morning’s deadly avalanche

FOX 13 reports that Saturday’s avalanche is tied for the deadliest in Utah’s history since the state started recording in 1958, matching the death toll of an avalanche that happened almost exactly 29 years ago in the Gold Basin of Moab in 1992.

This is the first time since 2013 an avalanche in Utah killed multiple people.

Since 1958, 124 people have been killed by avalanches in the state. 

Avalanches occur when the accumulated snow on a side of the mountain is disturbed in some way.

They can be caused by natural disturbances, such as wind, rain, snow, earthquakes, or warm temperatures.

They can also be caused by people, whether it be skiers, snowboarders, or hikers, or by loud noises brought on by people. 


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