Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Don Melvin

At least four skiers were killed in a 400-yard-wide avalanche in the French Alps on Monday, according to authorities.

It was initially believed that five other skiers were missing under huge amounts of snow, according to a spokesperson for the local police, but that number may have been the result of a duplicated list of victims.

The snowslide took place in Tignes, a ski resort near the border with Italy.

Rescue crews search Monday for victims of an avalanche near the French ski resort of Tignes in the Rhone-Alpes region.Sylvain Muscio / Le Dauphine via EPA

The deceased, all of them French nationals, were a ski instructor, 59, a 48-year-old man and that man's 15-year-old son and 19-year-old stepson, local authorities said at a news conference.

Authorities said the group were walking off the marked trail when the avalanche hit.

Two of the victims were found dead by emergency workers, while the two others died shortly after being rescued, according to agency Agence France-Presse.

Rescue efforts were continuing with sniffer dogs and two helicopters, AFP reported.

It is the deadliest avalanche in the area this season.

Rescuers at the avalanche site Monday.Radio Val d'Isere via AFP - Getty Images