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Two Skiers Confirmed Dead in Colorado Avalanche

<p>The avalanche was triggered around 5 p.m. Saturday, officials said.</p>

Two skiers were killed and three others injured in a large avalanche in Lake County, Colo., on Saturday evening, authorities said on Sunday.

A total of seven skiers on Star Mountain near Indepedence Pass triggered the avalance at around 5 p.m. Saturday, the county Office of Emergency Management said in a statement on its Facebook page.

Three skiers were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken leg, a broken ankle and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung.

Search and rescue crews discovered the bodies of two skiers Sunday afternoon, the county Sheriff's Office said. No identities of any of the seven people involved in the accident have been released.

The avalanche struck along Highway 82 southeast of Aspen and about a mile from the La Plata Gulch Trailhead parking lot.

Authorities said the avalanche occurred near the top of a ridge above the highway but did not reach the road. A photo on the Office of Emergency Management’s website showed slide debris coming down into trees.

Avalanches over the past week in Colorado, Utah and Oregon have left six people dead. A series of recent storms has heavily loaded slopes, raising the danger to high levels, weather experts say.

— Daniel Arkin