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Four Skiers Killed Following Utah Avalanche, Officials Say

GETTY IMAGES/ (Photo by ANG TASHI SHERPA / AFP) (Photo by ANG TASHI SHERPA/AFP via Getty Images)

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An avalanche at a backcountry ski location close to Salt Lake City on Saturday left four skiers dead, according to CNN.

The Unified Police Department of Salt Lake City was notified that five people were caught in an avalanche in the Wilson Basin area shortly after the department received a discontinued 911 call, Sgt. Melody Cutler, a public information officer with the police department said, according to CNN. The incident occurred at around 11:40 a.m. at the Millcreek Canyon, Cutler said, according to The New York Times.

“Four of those skiers were able to dig their way out,” Cutler said, according to CNN. “All four of the remaining are deceased.”

The Unified Police Department identified the victims as Sarah Moughamian, 29, Louis Holian, 26, Stephanie Hopkins, 26, and Thomas Louis Steinbrecher, 27, according to the New York Post.

The remaining bodies were recovered by the survivors because the skiers triggered an audible distress beacon on some of their equipment, Cutler said, according to the Times. Cutler said the skiers’ ages were in the 20s and 30s.

Authorities believe the group triggered the avalanche when they simultaneously began skiing down the mountain, Cutler said, according to CNN. (RELATED: Avalanche Kills Skier In New Hampshire, Officials Say)

The surviving skiers were reached by helicopter and sustained hypothermia and minor injuries, Cutler said, according to the Times.

Wilson Basin is around 20 miles southeast of the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, according to CNN.

The Utah Avalanche Center tweeted Saturday, warning about “large natural avalanches overnight” and “dangerous avalanche conditions.”

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted their condolences on Saturday.

The Unified Police Department of Salt Lake City didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to include the most recent developments.

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