Winter Snap 2012: Avalanche Kills Three Skiers in Washington (PHOTOS)

  on February 20 2012 3:03 AM

Three skiers were reportedly trapped and killed in an avalanche near the Stevens Pass area in the Cascade Mountains in rural eastern King County, Wa. on Sunday. The King County officials in Seattle confirmed the deaths.

The cold snap this winter has claimed many lives across the world with heavy snow, avalanches and blizzards reported at various ski and tourist areas. In Japan early this month, three people were found in a state of cardiac arrest after they were caught in an avalanche in Senboku, Akita prefecture, while taking a bedrock bath at a hot spring inn.

In another incident in February, a massive avalanche hit houses in the remote mountain village of Restelica, southern Kosovo, killing seven people of a family. A five-year-old girl of the family was rescued.

More recently, Austria's Queen Beatrix's second son Prince Johan Friso was hit by and got buried in an avalanche while skiing off piste in the Austrian Alps on Friday. He was in critical but stable condition at an intensive care unit in the Innsbruck hospital, according to Reuters.

Pictures below show the skiing area close to where the three skiers died in Washington.

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Winter 2012 Snap: Avalanche Kills Three Skiers in Washington

King County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Bedker speaks about three skiers who died in an avalanche near the Stevens Pass area in the Cascade Mountains, Washington Feb. 19, 2012. REUTERS

Winter 2012 Snap: Avalanche Kills Three Skiers in Washington

A woman and her dog stand in the skiing area close to where three skiers died in an avalanche near Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, Washington Feb. 19, 2012. REUTERS

Winter 2012 Snap: Avalanche Kills Three Skiers in Washington

The skiing area close to where three skiers died in an avalanche near Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, Washington Feb. 19, 2012. REUTERS

Winter 2012 Snap: Avalanche Kills Three Skiers in Washington

People enjoy the snow in the skiing area close to where three skiers died in an avalanche near Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, Washington Feb. 19, 2012. REUTERS

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