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File image: Blackcomb ski and snowboard Mountain view from Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Shutterstock/Pierre Leclerc

Five snowmobilers killed after being buried in avalanche

An official said they they had strayed to an area that was off-limits to skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts.

FIVE SNOWMOBILERS HAVE died after being buried in an avalanche in Canada’s British Columbia (BC) province.

The deaths were confirmed by the BC Coroner’s office, which said the accident occurred yesterday afternoon in the western Canadian hamlet of McBride, some 800km northeast of Vancouver.

Officials told AFP that six other people trapped by the avalanche were rescued alive.

Rescuers said the snowmobilers had strayed to a part of the area that was off-limits to skiers and other winter sport enthusiasts.

Barbara McLintock, a spokeswoman for the BC Coroners Service, said the site of the disaster “is not a resort” area.

Avalanche Canada said the disaster was likely caused by human activity.

The non-profit group said the area had just received about 30cm of fresh snow and conditions in the region were windy, which, combined with recent mild temperatures, created an unstable snowpack.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Five members of the French Foreign Legion killed in Alps avalanche

Read: Two students and a man dead and more missing as Alps avalanche hits school group

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