Image: Helicopter, rescuers at avalanche site
AFP-Getty Images
Rescuers land at the site of an avalanche that killed four people Wednesday in the French Alps at Valmeinier.
updated 3/11/2009 6:25:50 PM ET 2009-03-11T22:25:50

An avalanche killed three teenagers in a high school ski class and their instructor in the French Alps on Wednesday, officials said.

Two other students were injured and flown to a hospital.

Eight students were swept up in the avalanche, which was nearly a half-mile long and a quarter-mile wide. It hit near the Valmeinier station as the group was skiing.

Two students escaped without injuries. A teenage boy who had been lagging behind alerted authorities.

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