SALT LAKE CITY — An avalanche killed four skiers and injured four others Saturday in a popular recreation area, police said.
The Unified Police Department told the KSTU TV station that it was alerted to the avalanche about 11:40 a.m. after receiving a faint distress call from an avalanche beacon in Millcreek Canyon.
All eight skiers had avalanche beacons, the department told the TV station.
The survivors were able to dig themselves out of the snow and ice, but their medical conditions are unknown, the department said. The survivors were also able to find and dig out the other four, but they had already died, the department said.
Search and rescue teams from several agencies are working to recover the bodies.
The victims’ names have not yet been released.
“We are heartbroken over the tragic news of four fatalities as the result of an avalanche in the Millcreek Canyon area this afternoon,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said in a statement. “We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident.”
Gov. Spencer Cox said on Twitter that the accident is “a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved. We are grateful to the first responders and others who engaged in this rescue and recovery effort. With avalanche danger high now, please exercise extreme caution.”
Millcreek Canyon is closed to recreation at least through Sunday, but restaurants and businesses in the canyon will still be open, the police department said.
The Associated Press