2 skiers hit by avalanche in Japan located, showing no vital signs: Police

Tokyo: Two men who were missing after being caught in an avalanche while backcountry skiing in Japan’s Nagano prefecture were found on Monday but are showed no vital signs, local media reported.

The skiers, located by a search and rescue team on a 2,100-metre-high mountain where the avalanche struck a day earlier, were found in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, Kyodo News reported, citing prefectural police as saying.

The avalanche occurred on Sunday afternoon when a total of 13 people, all foreign nationals, were skiing in the backcountry area outside the course of Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort in the village of Otari, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the five people caught in the avalanche, three had been able to escape while two were believed left unconscious at the scene, said the report.

The police were unable to immediately begin their search on Sunday due to weather conditions and other factors, it added.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the region had received heavy snowfall over the past few days and had warned of a risk of “surface avalanches” due to an unstable snowpack.

On Sunday, another avalanche accident was reported in Gunma prefecture where it killed a snowboarder.


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