3 snowmobile drivers swept up by Alaska avalanche die

Three snowmobile drivers swept up in an avalanche died after they were buried in the snow for nearly an hour, Alaska State Troopers said. The three were driving their snowmobiles in the backcountry near Turnagain Pass, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Anchorage, when the avalanche occurred Friday, Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. They were buried for about 45 minutes before rescuers reached them. Attempts to resuscitate the three were unsuccessful, she said. Officials did not immediately have other information about the slide, including the depth of the snow. One snowmobiler was pulled from the slide and snow was removed from the faces of the other two, but resuscitation efforts weren't successful, Ipsen said. The victims' identities were being withheld until next of kin are notified, she said.