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Fatal avalanche

The avalanche is several hundred meters wide. FOTO: Arild Lyssand/Governor of Svalbard

Fatal avalanche

Young man confirmed dead after major snowslide in Fardalen.

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Oppdatert:
24.01.2015 kl 18:00

The search was completed late Saturday afternoon.

One young man is dead after being caught in an avalanche Saturday in Fardalen about seven kilometers south of Longyearbyen, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

"The only thing we can confirm yet is that one person is found dead," Tone Hertzberg, the governor's communications advisor, told Svalbardposten. "There are now people at the site that are investigating further. We do not know if there may be other persons there."

The victim and a snowmobile were found about an hour after the governor's office was notified at 11:39 a.m. about the avalanche, which occurred about a half mile south of Longyearpasset.

Details about the person's age and nationality are not yet being released.

The avalanche, described as large and passing over a snowmobile trail, resulted in an intensified rescue effort. Eighteen people from the Longyearbyen Red Cross and two from the governor's office were searching the area at mid-afternoon Saturday.

"More people from both the governor's office and the Red Cross were taken out to obtain a better overview of the situation," Hertzberg said.

Rescuers believe the avalanche occurred Saturday morning, although an estimated time and whether other people were in the affected area then remain unclear.

Fardalen is a widely used recreational thoroughfare from Longyearbyen.

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FOTO: Eirik Palm

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