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Three Finns and one Swede missing after Norway avalanche

Heavy snow and the danger of new avalanches have hampered the search for four downhill skiers who disappeared in northern Norway on Wednesday afternoon.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

A search has begun for three Finnish men and one Swedish woman who went missing after an avalanche in the county of Troms in northern Norway on Wednesday afternoon.

A forecast for more heavy snow has prohibited a search party being sent out, but a rescue helicopter has been sweeping the area, looking for signs of the missing foursome.

Local authorities say a team will be sent out to search for them as soon as the weather allows, as they haven't been able to contact the missing skiers.

The four missing off-piste skiers were last seen Wednesday afternoon, when they said they were heading to the peak of Blåbärfjellet to downhill ski.

A Swedish man who had been a part of the group says 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.

"This is a very bad sign," Morten Augensen, the head of the search operation, told the Norwegian paper Aftenposten.

Police fear that the missing persons may be trapped under the avalanche, which is 300 meters wide and 500 to 600 metres long. They have recruited between 30 and 40 volunteers to help their own staff in the search, along with the Norwegian Red Cross, the army and rescue dogs.

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