1 dead, 4 hurt in Los Angeles-area mountain ice disaster

AP News
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Posted: Feb 04, 2017 7:05 PM

AZUSA, Calif. (AP) — A group of hikers plunged down a long, steep icy slope in the mountains near Los Angeles on Saturday, killing one and injuring four others, one of them critically, authorities said.

The accident in what is known as an ice chute was reported around 11 a.m. at Islip Saddle, a hiking area about 7,000 feet high in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, authorities said.

At least one hiker managed to contact members of a search and rescue team from Ventura County who were training in the area, and they notified the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, sheriff's Lt. Thomas Reid said.

One person died at the scene, and one was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition with head and back injuries, said Bernard Peters, supervising dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Two other people also were taken to hospitals, one with a wrist injury and another complaining of chest pain. All three also had hypothermia, Peters said.

A fifth person had a minor wrist injury and was treated at the scene, he said.

It wasn't immediately clear how long the hikers had been on the mountain or where they were headed.

The rescue site is in the Angeles National Forest in an area that is a trailhead for several hiking paths, including the famous Pacific Crest Trail that runs more than 2,600 miles from Mexico to Canada.