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Briton killed in Alps avalanche

A British off-piste skier has been killed in an avalanche in the French Alps, French officials said.

The skier, a man believed to be aged between 40 and 60, died in the popular ski resort of Val d'Isere.

Xavier Idier, an Interior Ministry official in the Alpine Savoie region, said three other skiers, two French citizens and a Swede, are also believed to have been killed.

A fifth person was also caught by the avalanche but was pulled from the snow alive.

Mr Idier said a 50-strong rescue team, including four doctors, attempted to save the skiers but could not reach them for 50 minutes after the avalanche.

He said: "The cause of death was the effect of the snow. Without oxygen it is difficult to survive for more than seven minutes under the snow.

"The weather conditions were good but four days ago there was heavy rain at high altitude which could have been the reason for the avalanche."

He said the victims were equipped with avalanche transceivers and airbag vests.

"At this time the police are getting information about the incident," Mr Idier added.

Mr Idier said the group's guide survived. He was not buried in the avalanche, Mr Idier added


From Belfast Telegraph