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Avalanche survivor buried for 4 hours, 1 arm free

April 24, 2013 • National News


Snow falls near the spot where five members of a backcountry snowboarder group were found dead after they were trapped by an avalanche on Loveland Pass, Colo., Saturday, April 20, 2013. According to officials from the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, the five were killed on the high mountain pass in Colorado’s White River National Forest earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

DENVER (AP) — The sole survivor of an avalanche that killed five other men on the Continental Divide west of Denver was able to clear snow from his face with his unburied lower left arm so he could breathe, but he remained stuck for four hours until rescuers arrived, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said Wednesday.

In its final report on the weekend accident, the center said the state’s deadliest slide since 1962 was large enough to bury or destroy a car. Of the men who died in the 800-foot-wide, 600-foot-long avalanche Saturday morning, one was buried under 10 to 12 feet of snow.

The avalanche was tragic but avoidable, the center said.

The center’s final report offered new details on the avalanche that occurred as snowboarders and skiers converged near Loveland Pass for the Rocky Mountain High Backcountry Gathering. The Login to read more

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