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Hiker, 60, missing in Washington state avalanches

A search was due to resume Sunday for a 60-year-old hiker missing after two avalanches struck separate groups Saturday during heavy snowfall in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass east of Seattle, a King County officials said.


In one incident, an avalanche struck three people on Granite Mountain near milepost 47 about five miles west of the pass along Interstate 90, leaving one missing and one injured, King County sheriff's Sgt. Katie Larson told NBC News. The slide carried the snowshoers about 1,000 feet, NBC station KING of Seattle reported

In the other incident, a slide hit a group of 12 snowshoers at an elevation of about 4,800 feet in an area north of the pass, KING reported.


Rescuers were bringing the group Saturday evening. A woman who was in the group told KING her survival instincts kicked in.

"Horrible experience, fear, avalanche came down like water ... water shape ... so we held onto trees and we survived," Kay Seo said.

KING reported that one man was buried up to his armpits and a woman with a dog was found after the dog led rescuers to her.

Snoqualmie Pass is along Interstate 90 about 50 miles east of Seattle. It is a popular skiing and snowshoeing destination in the winter and early spring.

The mountains in the region have been hit by spring snowfall in the past couple days, with the Alpental ski area at Snoqualmie Pass reporting about 11 inches of new snow. The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center reported considerable avalanche danger above 4,000 feet and moderate danger below that level on Saturday, with the risk increasing in the afternoon.

The heavy snow and resulting vehicle accidents caused authorities to close westbound lanes of Interstate 90 over the pass Saturday night.