Four skiers killed in US avalanche

Four skiers were killed and four others wounded after an avalanche struck in a canyon in the western US state of Utah, local authorities and media said Friday.

The Utah Avalanche Center, which documents avalanches in the region, said it was the highest toll since 1992.

“We are overwhelmed with sadness to report four skiers killed today in an avalanche near Wilson Peak in upper Mill Creek Canyon,” it tweeted.

Local TV station KSTU reported police first received a faint distress call around 11.40 am (1840 GMT).

Four other skiers were also caught in the avalanche but managed to dig themselves out and were rescued, the station reported. The extent of their injuries was unknown.

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

“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.”

Avalanches are a serious hazard in Utah’s mountains from January to April. Earlier Saturday, before the accident, the avalanche center had warned of “Dangerous avalanche conditions” in a tweet.

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