3 skiers killed in Wash. avalanche; 4th survived

MANUEL VALDES Associated Press Published:

Skiers killed: Well-equipped and familiar with the terrain, about a dozen expert skiers were making their way through a foot-and-a half of fresh snow when an avalanche hit them in an out-of-bounds area near a popular Washington ski resort. Three men were killed Sunday when they were swept about a quarter-mile down a canyon, and a fourth skier caught up in the slide was saved by a safety device, authorities said. The large group had split into three smaller groups before the avalanche, but all the backcountry skiers were buried to some extent. Those who were able to free themselves rushed to dig out the victims and unsuccessfully performed CPR on the three, believed to be in their 30s and 40s. ESPN.com identified the survivor as professional skier Elyse Saugstad, who said she used an airbag after the avalanche hit.

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