At least four people have been killed in an avalanche in the popular French ski resort Tignes.
The avalanche struck an off piste area of the resort that sits on the border of Italy, in the French Alps, burying nine people – reportedly eight skiers and a guide. So far, four casualties have been found, and five other victims remain unaccounted for.
A rescue official from the nearby Albertville confirmed that “five people are still buried under a huge mass of snow”.
The nationalities of the victims are, as yet, unknown.
Emmanuel Dubost, from the Courchevel rescue team, told local media “At the moment there is a lot of assistance on the ground and many dog rescue teams from Tignes and Val d’Isere and our rescue teams plus two medical helicopters that are ready to look after anyone who is found”.
The avalanche was apparently triggered at around 11am this morning when a group ventured onto the Lavachet Wall, in the Toviere sector of Tignes.
We will update this article as the story develops.
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed and everyone effected by this tragic news.