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Avalanche At French Ski Resort Traps Skiers: Reports

A rescue operation is currently underway.

07/03/2017 9:32 PM AEDT | Updated 08/03/2017 12:10 PM AEDT

An avalanche in the ski resort of Tignes in eastern France buried a busy ski run on Tuesday morning.

Early reports by French police suggested up to 30 people were buried under the snow, but French authorities have since confirmed that there were no injuries as a result of the avalanche.

All ski lifts were shut in the surrounding 'Grand Barm' area following the snowfall.

It is believed the avalanche occurred around 10am local time (8pm AEST) in a marked, on-piste ski run area of the ski resort.

A regional police spokesperson said: "According to witnesses, there are many people under the avalanche.

"The rescue operation is made very difficult by the lack of visibility which prevents the sending of helicopters, the rescuers having to go on foot.

The spokesperson also confirmed the rescue operation consisted of four men including a dog handler and doctor to rescue an unconfirmed number of skiers.

"Weather conditions do not allow the helicopters to take off, it is by the road that the rescuers will go on the spot. The ski area has been closed and all the staff are strongly mobilised."

The avalanche risk, which theoretically concerns only off-piste areas or closed tracks, was four out of five at Tignes on Tuesday.

"According to [local authorities], many tracks were closed because of the weather, so there were more people than usual on this track... Very heavy snowfalls have occurred in recent days," the spokesperson said.

The resort has been closed and unaffected skiers remaining on ski runs have also reportedly been called back to the centre of the area.

The incident comes after four people were killed in another area of the same ski resort in February as a result of a separate avalanche.

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