Four Skiers Dead, Four Rescued After Avalanche in Utah: A 'Terrible Tragedy,' Governor Says

Claudia Harmata
·2 min read

Fox 13 News/Youtube

Four skiers were killed in an avalanche near Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to the city's Unified Police Department, two groups of skiers were caught in an avalanche in the Wilson Basin area on Saturday. Authorities believe the landslide was caused by the skiers.

"Four of those skiers were able to dig their way out," Sgt. Melody Cutler told CNN. "All four of the remaining are deceased."

All of the victims were between the ages of 23 and 38 years old.

RELATED: Utah Skier, 57, Found Dead After Being Buried Under Avalanche

Cutler said the location of the avalanche is a "very popular backcountry ski area," but it has "been under very high-risk avalanche conditions recently."

Prior to the incident, the Utah Avalanche Center warned in a tweet on Saturday morning that there were "dangerous avalanche conditions."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox called the incident a "terrible tragedy" in a statement on Twitter.

"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," Cox said.

RELATED: 3 Skiers Missing After Getting Caught in 'Large' Colorado Avalanche

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson also addressed the news on Twitter.

"We are heartbroken over the tragic news of four fatalities as the result of an avalanche in the Millcreek Canyon area this afternoon," she said. "We deeply mourn the loss of life due to this devastating incident."

The four deaths come just one week after a man was killed in an avalanche near the Park City Mountains Canyons Village resort in Utah, CNN reported. Another three died in an avalanche in Colorado last Monday.