Two German tourists killed in Norway avalanche

Two German tourists killed in Norway avalanche
A file photo showing Longyearbyen, Svalbard after a previous avalanche. Photo: AFP
Two German tourists were killed Thursday in an avalanche while on a snowmobile tour in Norway, authorities said.

A helicopter carrying rescue personnel and a sniffer dog were dispatched to search for the missing pair, who were discovered dead in the Svalbard archipelago, about a thousand kilometres from the North Pole. 

“Two German citizens are confirmed dead in an avalanche,” the office of the Governor of Svalbard said in a statement.

They had been on a snowmobile tour run by a Russian tour operator, about 15 to 20 kilometres south of Barentsburg, the second largest settlement on Svalbard, according broadcaster NRK.

Authorities said they received reports that two people were missing shortly before 3pm, and a few hours later the pair were discovered.

The Svalbard archipelago covers an area twice the size of Belgium and is home to some 2,900 inhabitants who rely on tourism, scientific research and mining.

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