Detailed Accident Report

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Date: 2003-03-26
Submitted By: WWAN
Place: Mount Terry Fox near Valemount
State: BC
Country: CANADA
Fatalities: 1
Summary: 1 skier caught, buried, and killed

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Four people killed in two B.C. avalanches

David Reevely

Vancouver Sun

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Four people were killed in

two avalanches in eastern

British Columbia on

Wednesday.

Near Fernie, three

snowmobilers were killed

when they and four others

were buried under falling

snow in the early afternoon,

said Sergeant Steve

Robertson of the Fernie

RCMP.

"It was in a fairly popular local snowmobiling area," Robertson said. "They

were up around the 6,000- or 7,000-foot mark."

Avalanche conditions had been rated as fair to good, Robertson said, but

the mountain turned out not to be safe.

All the members of the party were wearing avalanche beacons and were

located quickly, Robertson said.

Two died at the scene and another was pronounced dead later in hospital.

A fourth person was injured but not badly, and the three others were able

to walk away, he said.

"You have to pay close attention to the conditions and be with people who

know the trail and the surroundings," Robertson said, though all the victims,

all men, were locals.

Their names aren't being released, Robertson said.

At roughly the same time, on Mount Terry Fox near Valemount, another

avalanche was bearing down on a group of 10 heli-skiers in the back

country.

A 45-year-old man was the only one buried; he was under the snow for 20

to 25 minutes, according to a statement from Valemount RCMP Sergeant

Brad Handoga. The man was taken to hospital by helicopter but was

pronounced dead at about 2:35 p.m..

The other skiers were unhurt, Handoga said. The party was made up of

skiers from France (where the victim's family is), Switzerland, and Britain.

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