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Two feared dead in Canadian Rockies avalanche

Officials say all evidence points to American snowshoers being buried in debris

Montreal: Two US snowshoers appear to have been caught in an avalanche in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and are feared dead, a Canada Parks official said Wednesday.

A GPS signal from tags worn by the two tourists was picked up by a rescue team travelling in a helicopter north of the tiny town of Lake Louise, 180 kilometres from Calgary in the western province of Alberta.

“We can’t confirm anything at the time, but all the evidence points to the likelihood that they were buried in avalanche debris,” Canada Parks spokeswoman Tania Peters told AFP.

Federal police were alerted to the missing pair from Boston after they did not return to the hotel where they were supposed to check out.

Canada Parks, the federal agency that manages the country’s national parks, launched a search-and-rescue mission for the missing people, whose identities have not been released.

“They likely were buried in the avalanche,” Peters said. “We were able to find snowshoe track into the avalanche debris with no tracks out of that debris.”

“The avalanche danger right now is too high to put a cruiser on the ground to search,” she added, saying officials hope to be able to search the area in the coming days.

The authorities closed several roads in the region because of the high avalanche risk, she said.