Four killed, nine hurt and two missing after massive avalanche in the French Alps

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A DEADLY avalanche struck on Sunday near Mont Blanc in south-eastern France, sweeping four people to their deaths and leaving two more missing.

Among the dead were two mountain guides caught by the snow tumbling down the Armancette glacier, the prefecture for the Haute-Savoie department said.

ReutersThe aftermath left the slope covered in snow, burying skiers alive[/caption]

ReutersThe powder of snow rose after the deadly avalanche[/caption]

Investigators had been called in help with the search for the two persons still unaccounted for in the Alps.

One person also suffered slight injuries in the avalanche while eight others also swept up were unharmed, the prefecture said.

The avalanche covered a massive area of 1,000 metres by 500 metres, as photos show the snow rumbling down the mountain.

No avalanche warning had been issued for the region by weather authority Meteo France, but a combination of warmth and wind may have been behind the disaster, the prefecture added.

President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter: “We’re thinking of (the victims) as well as of their families.”

“Our emergency services have been mobilised to find those still trapped in the snow.”

Emergency responders had deployed a helicopter as well as mountain rescue dogs to the scene, although the prefecture warned a further avalanche could not be ruled out.

The operation was suspended in the evening, but will resume at 7:00 Monday morning.

Contamines-Montjoie mayor Francois Barbier told AFP: “I think it’s the most deadly avalanche this season.”

Two brothers died in an avalanche on the same glacier in 2014, both experienced climbers in their 20s.

Last month, a British teenager was killed by an avalanche while on a ski tour in Switzerland.

The 18-year-old man was found dead after he was swept away by the avalanche in Meiringen, Bern.

Earlier this week, a massive avalanche left 150 people trapped after knocking a full bus into a gorge.

The Indian army said the avalanche smashed into Nathu La, a popular tourist destination between Sikkim and the Chinese region of Tibet.

At least 30 trapped tourists were pulled out and rushed to hospital, while around 350 people and 80 vehicles were stranded after snow blocked the roads, Times of India reports.

ReutersThe moment the snow came tumbling down[/caption]

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