Avalanche kills at least 3; others missing

200 people were at snowmobiling event at British Columbia mountain

Saturday, Mar 13, 2010  |  Updated 7:31 PM PDT
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 Avalanche Kills 3 in Canada

AP Images

Randy Salerno was killed when a snowmobile driven by his friend slammed into an embankment, then flew 46 feet into a pine tree.

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At least three people were killed, 17 hurt and an undetermined number are missing after an avalanche hit a snowmobiling event in British Columbia Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the CTV network that roughly 200 people were on Boulder Mountain, just west of Revelstoke, attending the Big Iron Shootout snowmobile event when the avalanche hit.

"It's a large-scale, rescue recovery incident," he said. "We don't have a count at this point in time of the people missing."

Emergency crews searched for survivors as officials cleared people off the mountain.

Moskaluk said the search would continue until nightfall, and then be reassessed Sunday morning.

The Canadian Avalanche Centre said the area had seen 10 avalanches since Friday, and even issued an extreme avalanche warning, urging people to stay away from any known avalanche area.

On Feb. 15, an Alberta man was killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling on Eagle Mountain near Revelstoke, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. Another Alberta man died in an avalanche while skiing near Rossland, B.C., in early January.

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