Avalanche in Norway: four dead and one missing in a Franco-Swiss
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Avalanche in Norway: four dead and one missing in a Franco-Swiss

Oslo : Norway | Mar 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM PDT
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A rescue services helicopter heads for the site of an avalanche near Kaafjord in Norway




OSLO - An avalanche has killed four people and one missing in a Swiss group of hikers led by a French guide Monday in northern Norway, authorities said.

A sixth member of the group was removed alive and was hospitalized, Norwegian police said .

"This is a man. His injuries are moderate and steady state," he told AFP , January Fredrik Frantzen, spokesman for University Hospital of Northern Norway.

The nationality of the victims was not immediately clear.

The avalanche occurred at about 1000 meters above sea level in early afternoon on the mountain called Sorbmegaisa in the municipality of Kaafjord, authorities said.

Tremendous resources have been deployed to try to assist hikers, including F-16 fighters responsible for conducting aerial observations.

Thirty rescuers were mobilized and helicopters and mountain dogs.

The expedition, which was moving probably ski in total consisted of two groups each comprising five Swiss tourists and a French guide.

Police said all were equipped with radio transmitters.

"The guide of the group that escaped the avalanche has other members are safe and returned to the scene of the avalanche to join the search," he told AFP Antoine Gosset, first Secretary of the Embassy of France in Oslo.

A police official in Tromsoe (north), Thorstein Skogvang, said the search for the missing continued.

"We located his radio transmitter and the idea is to continue the research to try to find him," said Mr. Skogvang AFP.

But the chances to find this person alive after several hours in the snow seemed very little .

"Police said there is little hope for the person yet since they would be buried under four meters of snow. But a miracle is always possible," said Gosset.

No information was available from the Swiss embassy in Oslo.

Avalanches are quite common in Norway at this time of year when snow blocks get weak in the first rays of the sun.
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egyjan25 is based in Cairo, Kairo, Egypt, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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