Avalanche Kills Three Hikers in Alaska, Officials Say


The bodies of three hikers were found at the scene of an avalanche in southern Alaska on Wednesday, the authorities said.

Just before midnight on Tuesday, the police were notified of three overdue hikers near Bear Mountain in Chugiak, an area about 20 miles northeast of Anchorage, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

The hikers were identified as Thomas Devine, 54, of Chugiak; Matthew Nyman, 43, of Colorado Springs; and Edward Watson, 50, of Miami. They were last heard from on Tuesday morning before their hike and were expected to return to a parking area by 5 p.m. that day, the authorities said.

On Wednesday, state troopers and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group conducted a ground search and discovered the bodies buried in the snow after a recent avalanche. The authorities said the hikers did not have personal locator beacons or avalanche beacons, devices used to alert rescuers.

Because of the potential danger for additional avalanches near Bear Mountain, state troopers asked hikers to avoid the area until conditions improved.

Public information officers for the Alaska State Troopers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

The hikers’ deaths came after three backcountry skiers were found dead on Wednesday following an avalanche in southwestern Colorado.

The bodies of the three men were discovered two days after the group they were traveling with triggered an avalanche in an area known locally as The Nose, between the towns of Silverton and Ophir, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The three men all served as government officials in Eagle County, Colo., according to a Denver television station, and they were identified in a joint statement from the county and city governments: “The families of Seth Bossung, Andy Jessen and Adam Palmer are allowing us to share their names so we can all openly acknowledge their deaths and grieve together.”



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