Seven Dead After Another British Columbia Avalanche

Another avalanche in a region of eastern British Columbia killed seven skiers Saturday, including some high-school students, authorities said.

The 10 survivors were airlifted to Glacier Park Lodge by helicopter, said Bob Pearce of the British Columbia Ambulance Service. One was hospitalized and some others suffered minor injuries, a Glacier Park spokesperson said.

Pearce said the group included 14 high-school students and three counselors from Alberta. Further details about the victims were not available until next of kin could be notified.

The slide occurred just before noon on Saturday in the Rogers Pass area of Glacier National Park in western Canada.

The "very powerful" avalanche, which ran for about a mile, was capable of destroying a building or 10 acres of forest, said Pat Dunn, a Parks Canada spokeswoman.

Some victims were buried under about 9 feet of snow, she said. As many as five helicopters helped in the rescue effort.

It was the second major avalanche in the Revelstoke area in 12 days. A Jan. 20 avalanche in the same region killed seven people -- four Canadians and three Americans, including snowboard pioneer Craig Kelly.

A memorial service for those victims was held Friday in a Revelstoke church. The victims were in a party of 21 backcountry skiers.

"There are thousands of avalanches out there in the winter time," said Clair Israelson, director of the Canadian Avalanche Association in Revelstoke.

Saturday's avalanche occurred about 19 miles east of the earlier one, Israelson said.

Saturday's backcountry avalanche report for the park's office listed the hazard for Glacier as "considerable."

"When the risk is posted as considerable it's a note to skiers to be cautious," Dunn said. "All the people were equipped with avalanche shovels, beacons and probes, so they were properly equipped for mountain travel."

Dunn said the area of the avalanche was popular with tourists, with more than 200 people trekking there in the last few days.