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August 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Snowboarder dies when ice tunnel collapses on Mount Hood

Associated Press

MOUNT HOOD  — A dozen rescuers armed with chain saws and other tools chipped away at tons of ice and snow Sunday to recover the body of a 25-year-old snowboarder killed when an ice tunnel collapsed on Oregon’s Mount Hood.

The snowboarder, Collin Backowski, of Colorado, was traveling with five companions when the collapse hit Saturday afternoon. The others tried to dig him out but could not break through the ice and snow.

Rescuers quickly responded but halted efforts about 11 p.m. Saturday, then resumed early Sunday morning.

Hood River Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tiffany Peterson said that after removing tons of debris by hand, searchers found Backowski where he had been buried by 8 to 10 feet of snow and ice.

None of the searchers or other snowboarders was injured, Peterson said.

The ice tunnel was on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain.

Backowski’s companions took pictures of the area just before the tunnel collapsed, giving searchers a better idea of where to look.

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