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Avalanche sweeps up 4 skiers, killing 3 in Washington state

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SEATTLE — Authorities say an avalanche near a Washington state ski resort swept four skiers 1,500 feet down a mountain, killing three of them.

King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Katie Larson says the three men killed Sunday were all expert skiers. The slide happened at Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, about 80 miles northeast of Seattle.

Larson says the men were among three groups of people skiing out-of-bounds at the Stevens Pass ski area. The other skiers managed to dig the three men out and performed CPR, to no avail.

All of skiers were well-equipped and experienced. The fourth person who was swept down the mountain, a woman, wasn’t seriously injured. Larson says the woman had an avalanche safety device, but she had no further details.

Larson says the victims were believed to be in their 30s and 40s.

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This story was written and provided by the Associated Press Wire service.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)