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Avalanche in French Alps Hits High School Group in Deux Alpes Resort

Two high school students and a Ukrainian skiier were killed in an avalanche in the French Alps on Wednesday, authorities said. Another person was "seriously wounded," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

France's national police said a massive rescue operation was launched after the avalanche hit the Deux Alpes ski resort near Grenoble shortly before 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET).

A group of 10 students and a teacher from Lyon's St. Exupery high school were caught up in the avalanche, according to the Isere civil authority. Two students and a Ukrainian skiier unaffiliated with the school group were killed, the authority added in a statement.

It said more than 60 people — along with four helicopters sniffer dogs — were mobilized for the rescue.

Police said that some of the rescued students were gravely injured.

Image: Lycéens emportés dans une avalanche: deux morts, deux personnes dans un état désespéré
Rescuers work at the scene of an avalanche at the Deux Alpes ski resort. Le Dauphine / Maxppp via Zuma Press

France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls expressed "great sadness" over the tragedy, tweeting that all thoughts are with the victims and those fighting for their lives.