Police in Norway said the three Finnish men and one Swedish woman who went skiing on Blåbærfjellet on Wednesday are presumed dead, buried under an avalanche.
In a press conference held at 3pm Finnish time, Troms police said it detected signals from two avalanche transceivers in the area. Because the avalanche had occurred 38 hours earlier and the signals come from the avalanche area, police said it assumes the skiers buried under snow are dead.
As a result, the rescue operation organised by police has turned into a recovery operation. Police said it will attempt to retrieve the two bodies and will continue to search for the two other skiers who also carried avalanche transceivers.
The avalanche transceiver signals were detected from helicopters.
The four missing off-piste skiers were last seen Wednesday afternoon, when they said they were heading to the peak of Blåbærfjellet to downhill ski.
A Swedish man who had been a part of the group said he had seen ski tracks left by the group leading towards but not away from an area that was later covered with snow by an avalanche. The avalanche is 300 metres wide and 500 to 600 metres long.