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Large Colo. avalanche kills 2 skiers

LEADVILLE, Colo. — Two skiers were killed and three others were injured in a large avalanche in Colorado, marking the third deadly slide in the state in less than a week, authorities said Sunday.

Susan Matthews, a spokeswoman for the Lake County Office of Emergency Management, said seven skiers on Star Mountain near Leadville triggered the slide about 5 p.m. Saturday. Search-and-rescue crews found the bodies of two skiers Sunday afternoon.

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‘‘They were found near the top of the avalanche and they had beacons on, which really helped a lot,’’ Matthews said. ‘‘The terrain there is extremely steep.’’

Three skiers were hospitalized with injuries that included a broken leg, a broken ankle, and a possible broken rib and collapsed lung. One has since been discharged from the hospital. Authorities have not released the names of anyone involved.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center had been warning of dangerous conditions across much of Colorado’s mountains after two weeks of heavy snow that lured skiers and snowboarders to the high country.

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