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Remote Colorado lodge destroyed in weekend blast

Monday, March 21, 2005

PAONIA, Colo. -- Three youngsters were missing and 16 others were injured in a fiery explosion that destroyed a remote mountain lodge, authorities said Sunday.

The three missing, ages 3, 12, and 15, were all from the same family, Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said.

McKee said the explosion Saturday at the Electric Mountain Lodge may have been caused by propane, which was used for heating.

Because the lodge in the Gunnison National Forest on the western slopes of the Rockies is isolated by heavy snow, helicopters took injured people off the mountain while ground crews used tracked vehicles to ferry emergency medical teams to the site.

The lodge is about 230 miles southwest of Denver.

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