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Avalanche Outside British Columbia Resort Buries 10, Kills 3 Heli-Skiers

One heli-ski guide sustained serious injuries in the Wednesday incident that injured three skiers and also killed three. Search and rescue responded to the scene, and stood down once the whole 10-member group was accounted for.

the summit of panorama ski resort with a canadian flagAn avalanche rescue took place outside Panorama Mountain Resort, seen here; (photo/Alan Silvester via Wiki Commons)
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A deadly avalanche near Invermere, British Columbia, killed three heli-skiers and injured four others Wednesday when it engulfed the group of visiting skiers and their guide.

In a statement, British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said the victims were heli-skiing near Panorama Mountain Resort when they triggered an avalanche around noon. The statement confirmed the deaths and injuries, saying some of the survivors remained in serious condition, but it is “believed” they’ll pull through.

Search and Rescue and Parks Canada responded to the scene and soon accounted for all 10 individuals. All skiers involved were foreigners, except the guide — who is among those with serious injuries. RCMP had not released the names of anyone involved as of this writing.

Invermere Mayor Al Miller spoke about the incident’s effect on the small mountain town. “We’re a small, tight-knit community,” Miller told CTV News Calgary. “When that many helicopters start rolling back and forth and back and forth, you know something has gone terribly wrong.”

Miller said at least some of the victims were with RK Heliski, according to CTV Vancouver, and called the service’s safety record “exceptional.”

Twelve people have now died in avalanches in British Columbia this season, the highest total in “decades,” according to CTV.

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