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Two Workers Injured in Avalanche Mitigation Accident

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

Two Colorado workers were injured Monday morning while performing avalanche mitigation in Loveland Pass. A report from KDVR Fox31 says that an explosive used to mitigate avalanches detonated prematurely, injuring the pair.

Details of the Worker Accident

Two workers – one with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) and the other with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) – are in fair condition after an avalanche mitigation shell misfired.

  • The accident happened at 7 a.m. in the Seven Sisters area on the east side of Loveland Pass.
  • The workers were using an Avalauncher when the accident occurred. Crews load an explosive into the Avalauncher when then uses compressed gas to fire the shell. Once launched, a trigger detonates the shell on impact.
  • Authorities are still investigating what caused the round to detonate prematurely.

CDOT routinely monitors 278 known avalanche paths. The Avalauncher used in Monday morning’s accident had been used for the past eight avalanche seasons, firing approximately 800 rounds this season alone. CDOT suspended all use of Avalaunchers until an investigation could be completed.


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