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Avalanche kills two backcountry skiers in Eastern Oregon

PORTLAND – An avalanche in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon killed two backcountry skiers and seriously injured two others Tuesday, officials said.

The avalanche hit at about noon as a group of eight was skiing in the remote and mountainous area near Cornucopia, Baker County Sheriff Mitch Southwick said in a statement.

Most of the skiers are from the Seattle area. Officials weren’t releasing names until family members could be notified.

Two medics were with the injured skiers Tuesday night, Undersheriff Warren Thompson said. A woman suffered two broken legs and a shoulder injury while a man had a broken thigh bone, he said.

The unhurt skiers were at a nearby cabin, the undersheriff said.

Connelly Brown, the owner of Wallowa Alpine Huts, said the skiers were part of a backcountry skiing group organized by his Joseph-based company. The group included two guides and six skiers.