3 dead, up to 8 missing in Washington avalanche

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Authorities are now saying three people are dead and as many as eight are missing after an avalanche near a Washington state ski resort.

King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West says her office began receiving word about the avalanche near the Stevens Pass ski area just after noon Sunday. Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle.

West initially said two people had died but later confirmed there were three deaths.

She says the deaths occurred in an out-of-bounds area near the resort. Rescue crews were en route.

The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center on Sunday issued a warning for high avalanche danger for areas above 5,000 feet. The elevation of the avalanche wasn't immediately clear.

Meanwhile, West also says a snowboarder has been killed in a separate incident at the Alpental ski area east of Seattle. The snowboarder went over a cliff Sunday.