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No deaths after avalanche sweeps down France ski slopes

Previous fears of fatalities at the alpine resort of Tignes have been allayed. The rescue operation has been called off.

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Avalanche buries many skiers on French ski slope

French authorities reported that all skiers were safe in the popular French ski resort town of Tignes after an avalanche swept down a ski slope on Tuesday at around 10:00 local time (09:00 UTC). 

"Several skiers have been shaken up and taken care of by resort personnel. Emergency staff were deployed immediately. After the search operations, there are no victims to report,"  a statement from the ski resort said. 

Police originally feared the cascading snow could have buried numerous individuals on a blue slope - one of relatively low difficulty.

French officials also confirmed the end  of rescue operation. The ski entire resort had been shut down, with all personnel and skiers evacuated. 

On Tuesday, Tignes' avalanche risk level was a four on a scale of one to five. All slopes are closed at level five. 

Tuesday's wall of snow is not the first to strike Tignes this season. On February 13, an avalanche killed four individuals who had been exploring an area beyond the groomed ski slopes. 

cmb/tj (dpa, AFP, Reuters) 

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