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2 skiers dead in Utah avalanche; 1 digs himself out: Police

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(SALT LAKE CITY) — Two skiers were killed and a third was hospitalized following an avalanche on Utah’s Lone Peak, according to the Unified Police Department of Salt Lake City.

The skiers are believed to have been buried by an avalanche in the backcountry, according to police.

The deceased victims were described as two men who were 32- and 23-years-old, Sgt. Aymee Race told reporters.

The hospitalized skier was being treated for minor injuries after he was able to extract himself from the snow and attempted to rescue his two friends before calling for help, according to Race.

Search and rescue professionals have not been able to get on the accident site because avalanche conditions are too dangerous, the authorities said.

The two bodies remain on the mountain after recovery efforts were paused as of 4 p.m. local time due to snow falling on the mountain again, police said.

Large, dangerous avalanches are rare this late in the ski season because daytime warmth typically stabilizes the snowpack, the Utah Avalanche Center’s Craig Gordon told reporters.

A recent storm of about 30 inches changed weather conditions very quickly, raising the danger dramatically, Gordon said. He added that this area on the north side of Lone Peak is steep and technical, complicating rescue efforts.

As is often the case for nearby ski resorts with big resources, Alta Ski Area told ABC News it has dispatched a ski patroller and avalanche rescue dog to assist with the search and rescue effort.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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