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7 Mar, 2017 11:22

Avalanche rattles French ski resort, no fatalities reported

Avalanche rattles French ski resort, no fatalities reported

There have been no fatalities reported following an avalanche in the ski resort of Tigres which prompted a major search and rescue operation earlier this morning.

A statement from the resort said there were no casualties reported after an extensive search effort, with “everyone involved said to be safe and sound.”

"Several skiers have been shaken up and taken care of by resort personnel. Emergency staff were deployed immediately. After the search operations, there are no victims to report," the statement read.

The ski slope in the French Alps was closed following the incident with emergency services and volunteers dispatched to search for skiers presumed missing.

Initially police had said several people were reported trapped under the avalanche, according to Le Dauphine.The rescue operation was made difficult by a lack of visibility which had prevented helicopters accessing the area.

Photos taken at the location showed skiers being evacuated from one of the resort’s slopes.

The avalanche occurred on the Carline piste designed for learner skiers. Police told BFMTV that ski equipment was found scattered above the snow.

Nearly a meter of fresh snow is reported to have fallen in Tignes in the past 72 hours, with the avalanche hazard scale on four out of a possible five. Videos taken at the resort in recent days showed stormy conditions and heavy snowfall.