Two French teens Ukrainian man killed in Alpine avalanche

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Rescue teams gather for search and rescue operations on a piste at the avalanche site after skiers including a group on a school outing were swept away in the Les Deux Alpes resort in The French Alps on January 13 2016 (AFP Photo/)

Les Deux Alpes France:Two French teenagers and a Ukrainian man were killed Wednesday when an avalanche swept away skiers in the French Alps including a group on a school outing local officials said.

The avalanche hit a piste at the Deux Alpes resort in eastern France which has been closed to the public all season engulfing a group of French pupils and their teacher from the city of Lyon according to police sources.

A 16-year-old girl died in the deluge while a teenage boy died later in hospital. The Ukrainian man who was killed was not part of the school group.

The two teenagers were skiing as part of a group of 19 pupils. Their teacher was seriously injured and taken to hospital in nearby Grenoble.

All the remaining pupils were safe and had been driven back to their school the French education ministry said in a statement.

"A judicial inquiry will say why the teacher who was himself injured took (the group) onto a piste which was not open" French Minister for Youth and Sports Patrick Kanner told reporters.

"How can you think of taking children following periods of heavy snowfall onto a piste which was closed?"

Dozens of emergency workers earlier swarmed the black piste -- the highest difficulty rating in France -- while search dogs hunted for any other possible victims.

Three helicopters hovered above the resort one of them equipped with a thermal camera to try and track any survivors under the snow following the mid-afternoon incident at some 2500 metres (7000 feet) altitude.

Outside the Lyon school dozens of candles had been lit alongside a note reading: "Thoughts with the students and pupils. Thoughts with the families stay strong."


The Peninsula

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