Two teens hurt — one seriously — during roof avalanche at Breckenridge home

Roof avalanche file photo
Posted at 11:25 PM, Mar 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-20 17:21:11-04

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Two teens were injured — one seriously — during a roof avalanche at a Breckenridge home Monday.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) said the two teens were playing outside when snow slid off the roof and partially buried the pair.

“This is a tragic accident. Like any avalanche accident, we want to warn people about being caught in a similar event,” said CAIC Director Ethan Greene in a statement. “Roof avalanches are a problem every year in mountain communities, but right now we have a lot of snow in unusual places. We remain concerned about this hazard throughout the week.”

According to the CAIC, roof avalanches can cause serious injury and even death. The last fatal roof avalanche occurred on March 16, 2023, when two children and a father were buried in a slide near Durango. One of the children was killed, according to the CAIC.

Five people have been killed by roof avalanches in Colorado in the past 30 years, the CAIC said.

The center said roof avalanches often occur during a large snowstorm or when there is rapid warming following a big storm. If you see a roof has a thick build-up of snow, you should follow the following safety recommendations:

  • Always pay attention to snowy roofs above you, and do not play with icicles.
  • Minimize the amount of time you spend below snow-loaded roofs.
  • Watch exposed people and keep a shovel nearby to locate someone.
  • Shovel roofs early to reduce the snow load and potential consequences of larger roof avalanches.

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