2 skiers killed in large Colorado avalanche

LEADVILLE, Colorado -- Two skiers who were missing following a large avalanche southeast of Denver have been found dead, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center told CBS News on Sunday.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Management says seven skiers on Star Mountain near Independence Pass triggered the slide at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Three were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken leg, a broken ankle and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung.

Authorities have not released the names of any of the skiers involved.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had been warning of dangerous conditions across much of Colorado's mountains after two weeks of heavy snow in the high country.

The avalanche happened near Leadville, which is about 80 miles southwest of Denver.

Meanwhile, CBS Denver reports that the Colorado Department of Transportation is doing what it can to keep drivers safe in the high country by conducting avalanche mitigation.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center warned drivers not to travel in avalanche terrain because of possible destructive slides.

Avalanche danger remains high on most mountain passes which means hard work for crews working to keep travelers safe.

"As long as winter is here and as long as it's snowing we're going to be concerned and we're going to continue our mitigation efforts," said Tom Hurst from the CDOT Avalanche Mitigation Team.


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