Bridgeport, CA — Autopsy results show three ski patrol members, killed when they fell into a volcanic gas vent at Mammoth Mountain, were suffocated by the gases.
The Mono County coroner´s office says the official cause of death for Charles Walter Rosenthal, Scott McAndrews and James Juarez was suffocation due to volcanic gases.
The autopsies confirm earlier statements by the county sheriff/coroner in Bridgeport.
Officials say McAndrews and Juarez were trying to reinforce a fence around the natural hazard one week ago after a blizzard when the deep snow, warmed by hot gas, collapsed and they fell into the hole.
Rosenthal died while trying to help his comrades. Seven other ski patrol members who were injured trying to rescue the victims were treated and released from hospitals.