Four die in Scottish Highlands avalanche

Last updated 10:10 20/01/2013

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An avalanche has killed four climbers in the Scottish Highlands, police said.

The victims were in a group of six climbers - three men and three women - who were at Glencoe, one of Scotland's best-known glens, when a snow slope broke away overnight (NZ time).

The BBC said five of them were swept down the mountain in ice and snow, with four dying and one being saved and hospitalised in serious condition. The sixth climber managed to escape unharmed and call emergency services, police said.

John Grieve, who leads the Glencoe mountain rescue team, said it found the dead climbers by pushing a metal stick into the snow.

"I'm not sure how deeply buried they were, but using that technique would suggest it was more than a metre," said Grieve, who was not part of the search.

Like much of Britain, Scotland has been battered by heavy snow and strong winds in the past few days.

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- AP

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