Anchorage man killed by avalanche

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Anchorage man was killed Saturday by an avalanche while snowmachining in the Johnson Pass area east of the Seward Highway.

Poor weather and concerns of ash clouds being emitted by the erupting Mount Redoubt have thus far prevented emergency personnel from extricating Flair's body from up to 20 feet of snow.

Troopers responded to a satellite phone call placed by a group of snowmachiners at 3:35 p.m. Saturday.

Megan Peters, public information officer for Alaska State Troopers, said she was unsure how many were in the group, but that Flair was the only member unaccounted for after the slide.

Flair was not wearing an emergency locator beacon.

Four agencies responded to the call, dispatching rescuers via snowmachine and a helicopter launched by Chugach Powder Guides.

A probe line search was conducted until 7 p.m., before an approaching storm and an ash cloud from an eruption at Redoubt curtailed operations. Recovery has since been suspended.

Peters said the search is predicted to resume Wednesday, pending weather, volcanic and avalanche conditions.

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