2012-02-20 / World

3 skiers killed in Wash. avalanche

4th person survives

STEVENS PASS, Wash. ( AP) — Well- equipped and familiar with the terrain, about a dozen expert skiers were making their way through a foot-and-a half of fresh snow when an avalanche hit them in an outof bounds area near a popular Washington ski resort.

Three men were killed Sunday when they were swept about a quarter-mile down a canyon, and a fourth skier caught up in the slide was saved by a safety device, authorities said. The large group had split into three smaller groups before the avalanche, but all the backcountry skiers were buried to some extent. Those who were able to free themselves rushed to dig out the victims and unsuccessfully performed CPR on the three, believed to be in their 30s and 40s.

“ Most of the people involved in this were wellknown to the ski community up here, especially to the ski patrol,” said Deputy Chris Bedker of the King County Sheriff ’s search-and-rescue unit. “ It was their friends who they recovered.”

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