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One man was killed and another person injured in an avalanche at a Tahoe-area resort


By Cheri Mossburg, Christina Maxouris and Cindy Von Quednow, CNN

(CNN) — A 66-year-old skier was killed and another person was injured in an avalanche at a Lake Tahoe-area ski resort in California on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The avalanche occurred at roughly 9:30 a.m. at the Palisades Tahoe ski resort and quickly prompted a search and rescue effort by multiple teams for potential victims, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. More than 100 resort personnel assisted in the search, Palisades Tahoe said in a statement.

The person who died was Kenneth Kidd, a resident of Point Reyes as well as the Truckee area near Lake Tahoe, the sheriff’s office said. “Our heart felt condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Kidd during this difficult time,” the sheriff’s office said.

Both the man who died and the person injured were resort guests, said Michael Gross, Palisades Tahoe’s vice president of mountain operations, during an Wednesday afternoon news conference.

Two other people were caught in the slide but received assistance from others, Gross said. A video posted on social media showed one person, who did not appear to be severely injured, being dug out of the snow by fellow skiers.

The person who was injured suffered “minor, non-life threatening injuries,” sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. David Smith said. All search efforts had concluded by Wednesday afternoon, he added.

The avalanche occurred in an area that had just opened in the morning and that underwent rigorous “avalanche control assessments” for several days from teams who also evaluated weather conditions and safety measures, Gross said.

The mountain was closed for the rest of the day, the sheriff’s office said.

“This is a very sad day for my team and everyone here,” Palisades Tahoe President and COO Dee Byrne said. “We’re still undergoing an investigation, we have a lot to learn yet.”

“The first thing that we do in a circumstance like this is really take care of our people, so our guests and certainly our team members, our employees and also our community. So that’s first and foremost on my mind,” she said. “Our hearts are out and condolences to the victim, to the victim’s family and certainly to everybody else involved in the incident.”

The debris field of the avalanche was roughly 150 feet wide, 450 feet long and 10 feet deep, authorities said.

A winter storm warning is in effect in the area with snow accumulations of 28-30 inches expected in the area of the resort.

The Sierra Avalanche Center warned the avalanche danger will increase throughout the day, forecasting a “high avalanche danger” in the early evening hours.

The office of Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an earlier statement it was monitoring the situation.

CNN’s Brad Parks, Taylor Ward, Chimaine Pouteau and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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This story has been updated with additional information

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