4 skiers killed in Utah avalanche

MILLCREEK, Utah — Four skiers were killed after an avalanche at a popular Utah recreation area, authorities said Saturday.

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According to Unified Police, the avalanche occurred at Millcreek Canyon, KSTU reported.

Officials with the Utah Highway Patrol confirmed that in addition to the four fatalities, four people were rescued, KUTV reported. All eight skiers had avalanche beacons, according to KSTU.

Authorities said they received a “faint” distress call at around 11:40 a.m., the television station reported. It was determined that the slide happened in the Wilson Glade area of Wilson Fork.

Unified Police spokesperson Sgt. Melody Cutler told KTVX that the ages of the eight people involved ranged from their early 20s to their late 30s.

“This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement. “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.”

“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. “The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Canyon Search and Rescue Unit, Unified Police Department, Unified Fire Authority, and other partners are on-site responding to the situation. Additional details will follow as they become available throughout the evening. We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident.”

Saturday’s incident was Utah’s third fatal avalanche of 2021, KTVX reported.

The Utah Avalanche Center reported that an avalanche was remotely triggered in the same area Friday, KSTU reported. Nobody was caught in it.