January 4, 1998 in Nation/World

Avalanches Kill 7 Skiers In B.C.

Associated Press

Seven skiers were killed and at least one person was missing after avalanches hit two separate ski parties in the Selkirk Mountains north of Nelson, in southeast British Columbia, police said Saturday.

The bodies of five skiers were found near a glacier in Kokanee Glacier Park, 30 miles north of Nelson, and the search was to continue today for a sixth person, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

The party of six was reported overdue on Friday.

At least two other skiers died Saturday afternoon in an avalanche near Mount Alwin, northwest of New Denver, which is 40 miles north of Nelson.

The two were part of a skiing expedition, police said.

Nelson is 40 miles north of the Washington-B.C. border crossing at Nelway, B.C.

A spokesman for the RCMP declined to identify the victims late Saturday night, saying that authorities were waiting to notify family members. But the spokesman did say he did not think any of the victims were from the Coeur d’Alene or Spokane area.

It was not known how many others were in the group northwest of New Denver, or whether others in that group were missing or injured.

The bodies of the five killed in Kokanee park, just west of Kaslo, were found Saturday and were not expected to be removed until today because of severe weather.

The six, who apparently were flown into the area to ski, failed to return to their cabin late Friday.

The only winter access to the Silver Spray cabin, near Woodbury Glacier, is by helicopter.

MEMO: Changed in the Spokane edition

Changed in the Spokane edition

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