France avalanche: Many feared trapped as 'violent' avalanche hits Tignes ski resort; major search underway

Namrata Tripathi

Many people are trapped under several feet of snow after a "violent" avalanche hit a French ski resort on Tuesday, March 7.

Reports state that at least 30 people were buried alive after the avalanche hit the resort.

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Reports state that a "mass of snow and impacted ice" hit Carline piste in the Val Claret area of Tignes covering "numerous people on the slopes." The ski resort is a popular tourist spot.

"Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders were setting off for a day's skiing when the avalanche struck," an emergency services worker at the scene was quoted as saying by Evening Standard.

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"There had been avalanche warnings, but this was on a monitored piste. Conditions are making searches difficult," the emergency official said.

A rescue helicopter has been rushed to the scene along with sniffer dogs and police search teams.

Although there were no initial reports on the number of casualties, a police spokesperson said that "many are covered by the avalanche."

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