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Avalanche tears down mountain in Alberta, catching five people and killing one

Mount Black Prince in Kananaskis Country
Image Credit: backcountryskiingcanada.com
February 15, 2015 - 9:41 AM

CANMORE, Alta. - One person has died in an avalanche that swept down an Alberta mountain and dragged five people through the trees.

A public safety specialist with Alberta Parks says the group were in a section of Kananaskis County called Black Prince on Saturday afternoon when the slide hit.

Mike Koppang says the area is popular with skiers who hike up the mountain and ski down it.

He says the avalanche was 80 metres wide, up to a metre deep, and ran for about 600 metres.

Koppang says there's no cellphone service in the area, and two of the party had to hike to their cars and drive for help.

The body of the dead person was carried off the slope by helicopter as were two injured people — one with a broken leg, one with minor injuries.

Parks Canada and Alberta Parks have issued a special avalanche warning for the mountain parks this weekend due to complex snowpack. Avalanche Canada has issued the same warning for mountain ranges in the Southern Interior.

They've recommended that even experienced backcountry recreationists travel on simple terrain such as small, low angle, well-supported features with no large steep slopes or cornices above.

Koppang says all five who were involved in Saturday's avalanche were carrying avalanche beacons, shovels and probes.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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