4 dead, 4 alive following Utah avalanche
Graham Dudley and Jen Riess, KSL.com
MILLCREEK, Utah (KSL.com) — Four people were killed in an avalanche in Millcreek Canyon Saturday.
Unified police said that four others were able to dig themselves out and survived. All those involved are between the ages of 23 and 38 years old.
Reports of the avalanche first came in at around 11:40 a.m., and officials reported that all of the skiers involved were wearing beacons.
Authorities are at the scene near the Alexander Basin, according to the Unified Police Department. KSL TV’s Garna Mejia tweeted efforts currently underway to rescue survivors, recovery efforts for others may extend into tomorrow morning. Officials say their first priority is to get the survivors out to safety then they will bring down the victims.
Officials appear to be turning cars away at the base of the canyon as search and rescue efforts continue.
The National Weather Service and Utah Avalanche Center warned of high avalanche danger this morning, saying there had been “large natural avalanches” overnight.
Gov. Spencer Cox advised Utahns to “please exercise extreme caution” with the high avalanche danger.
“This is a terrible tragedy and our prayers go out to the victims and families involved,” Cox tweeted. “We are grateful to the first responders and others who engaged in this rescue and recovery effort.”
This 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 right now, please exercise extreme caution. https://t.co/2sxB85eh74
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) February 6, 2021
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson acknowledged the multiple agencies that will continue working throughout the night.
“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,” Wilson said in a statement. “We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident.”
There were two fatal avalanches in Summit County in January, including one last weekend.