Two groups of skiers were caught in an avalanche in the Wilson Basin area near Salt Lake City on Saturday. The Utah snowslide killed four of the eight skiers who were in the area, while the others were able to dig themselves out. The survivors were rescued with minor injuries and hypothermia.
“Four of those skiers were able to dig their way out,” Salt Lake City Sgt. Melody Cutler told CNN. “All four of the remaining are deceased.”
All of the skiers were in their 20s and 30s and were skiing in two separate groups. Authorities in the state say that the avalanche was triggered by the skiers’ activities in the area. Avalanche tracking agencies and Cutler both confirmed that the conditions were ripe for a dangerous snowslide. The Utah Avalanche Center shared a photo of the area on Saturday morning, noting that avalanches were likely and several had occurred overnight.
Utah governor Spencer Cox shared his condolences to the families of the deceased on Twitter.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved,” he wrote. “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.”