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Five Snowmobilers Dead in 'Very Large' Avalanche in British Columbia

The dead were snowmobilers caught in the avalanche in the North Rockies near McBride in British Columbia, authorities said.
Image: Cananda Avalanche Renshaw area
Renshaw area just East of McBride, BC. Lansat & Google

At least five snowmobilers were killed by a “very large” avalanche that struck in British Columbia Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said search and rescue teams were still determining Friday evening that all snowmobilers in the area were accounted for, but the bodies of five people have been discovered.

The British Columbia Coroner's Service said it has no reports that anyone else was injured in the avalanche.

The avalanche struck at around 1:30 p.m. in the McBride area of the North Rocky Mountains, the, the RCMP said.

Avalanche Canada, a non-government, nonprofit organization that tracks avalanches, said preliminary details indicated the avalanche was "human triggered."

Three groups of snowmobilers were caught in the avalanche, which occurred east of McBride, the mounted police said. The names of the dead were not released pending notification of next of kin.

A total number of people in the area was not released, but police said in a statement that between 6 to 8 people lost their machines in the avalanche and were being transported off the mountain.

The area where the avalanche occurred is remote and is not part of any resort, the coroner's service said.

The McBride village website advertises itself as a "mecca for snowmobiling." McBride is village of around 500 in the Robson Valley in southeast British Columbia.