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French avalanche kills teens

An avalanche in the Alps has killed at least three skiers, including two school pupils. Police also reported several serious injuries at the resort of Les Deux Alpes.

At least three people have died on Wednesday when a party of schoolchildren was struck by an avalanche in the French Alps. Several other people were injured after the snow hit Les Deux Alpes ski resort as a rescue mission was underway.

Police told the press that two students, aged 14 and 16, from the Saint Exupery School in Lyon, and a Ukrainian skier, who was not part of the school group, had been killed in the avalanche. The authorities also said that the students' teacher was seriously injured.

French President Francois Hollande offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Apart from the two teenagers who died, all other students from the group of 19 were safe, French officials said.

The tragedy struck around 4 p.m. on a closed ski run. Police Commander Bertrand Host told local television that there had been an avalanche warning in the area before the slide began.

Watch video 00:36

French avalanche leaves three dead

Following a holiday season too warm for much snowfall, a recent dip in temperatures has resulted in a sudden flurry of snow that has created a high risk of avalanches across the French Alps.

Two Lithuanians, a Spaniard and a Czech have already died in January in Alpine avalanches in France.

es/sms (AP, AFP)

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