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Avalanche kills 5 tourists in Norway

Rescue personnel prepare on March 19, 2012 to go to the mountain area near Kafjord, Norway where an avalanche is reported to have buried 6 tourists. Police said that preliminary information suggests the tourists were French and that they were part of a group of 12 people out skiing Monday near Tromsoe on Norway's Arctic coast. Police and military helicopters were dispatched to the area.
AP Photo/ Ola Solvang / Scanpix

OSLO, Norway - Police say four Swiss and one French citizen have been confirmed killed by a massive avalanche in northern Norway.

One person was dug out alive and taken to a local hospital after the snowslide near Tromsoe on Norway's Arctic coast, police spokesman Morten Pettersen said.

The six tourists, five Swiss and one French national, were part of a group of 12 people out skiing in the area when the avalanche struck near Sorbmegaisa mountain, police said.

The victims were wearing avalanche transceivers which guided about 30 rescuers digging through the snow. Police and military helicopters were also sent to the site.

Police said avalanches are common in the area.