PARK CITY — At least one person is still at the scene of an avalanche on Saturday as rescue crews had to halt operations until the following morning.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it received reports shortly before 3:26 p.m. Saturday of a backcountry avalanche in the Square Top area, outside Park City Mountain Canyons Village resort boundaries. The avalanche was triggered by two skiers; one of them was buried, according to officials.
“Another person at the scene dug the victim out and began performing life-saving efforts,” officials said.
“Because it is such an extremely dangerous avalanche zone, the plan was to use the Utah Department of Public Safety, they have a hoist team, we wanted to use that to get into the area,” said Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “Unfortunately, it started to get dark, and so we had to pull out our operations for the night.”
Crews will resume rescue efforts on Sunday morning, officials said.
“Based on the circumstances and the eye witness accounts, it’s not looking favorable for this individual, and it will take time for us to get in there, so yes, most likely we are looking at a recovery operation at this point,” said Wright.
One witness recorded a University of Utah medical helicopter headed towards the scene, and said she saw a large response from search and rescue teams.
Utah Avalanche Center spokesperson Mark Staples said the Square Top area is known for producing avalanches due to its steep and rocky conditions. Rescue personnel tried to determine the safest route to the victim without causing another avalanche. Staples said if there was one avalanche, another is likely.
Officials say they will give more information on the victim after they make contact with them.
Contributing: Garna Mejia, KSL TV
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