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Three killed in Alps avalanche

Three foreign tourists - two Austrians and an Italian - have died in an avalanche in the French Alps, officials said.

A fourth tourist has been taken by helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble with unspecified injuries.

The snow slide took place in mid-afternoon in the Ecrins massif, near the town of Briancon, as a group of skiers - all non-French nationals - were travelling along a mountain, Hautes-Alpes department officials said.

Seven of the skiers are holed up in a refuge building nearby at an altitude of about 3,500 metres (11,500ft), and will stay there overnight until emergency services are able to rescue them, officials said.

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