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Avalanche in French Alps Kills Three

  • VOA News

A student lights a candle outside the Saint-Exupery high school in Lyon, France, during a commemorative gathering after two students from the school and a Ukrainian man were killed in an avalanche at Les Deux Alpes ski resort in the French Alps, Jan. 13, 2016.

A student lights a candle outside the Saint-Exupery high school in Lyon, France, during a commemorative gathering after two students from the school and a Ukrainian man were killed in an avalanche at Les Deux Alpes ski resort in the French Alps, Jan. 13, 2016.

An avalanche Wednesday in the French Alps killed two French high school students and a Ukrainian skier.

Three other people were seriously injured.

Officials said the avalanche struck at Les Deux Alpes ski resort, 50 kilometers from the Italian border, engulfing a group of 10 students and their teacher who were there on a school trip from Lyon.

French police said all students from the trip had been accounted for but that search efforts were continuing to ensure there were no other victims. Sixty workers were mobilized in the operation, which was being hampered by the dark and the continuing danger of more avalanches.

Local councilor Gilles Strappazzon told BFM-TV the avalanche occurred after several groups of skiers dislodged a large snow slab. The area had been closed off prior to the accident amid avalanche warnings, and it was unclear why the group had ventured onto the ski trail.

There had been little snow in the Alps until just after New Year's Day, so January's steady snow was fresh and possibly less stable.

Some information for this report came from AP.

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