- Skiers were buried in an off-piste area by an avalanche around 300 meters wide
- The Tignes resort website had put risk of avalanche at a significant 3 out of 5
Paris (CNN)Four people were killed by an avalanche at the French Alps ski resort of Tignes on Monday, officials said.
The four men were in an off-piste area when the avalanche buried them, crashing down on an area around 300 meters across.
The victims were a 49-year-old man, his 15 year-old-son and 19-year-old brother-in-law, as well as a ski instructor, 59, Deputy Prefect Nicolas Martrenchard, told reporters.
The four were French nationals, the Tigne mayor's office said.
Officials had earlier reported that five others were missing, but Martrenchard said that it was likely that the original count was incorrect and it was unlikely that there were any more victims.
Martrenchard said that all skiers appeared to have been equipped with avalanche detectors, which helped rescuers find them. No more signals were being received form additional devices, he said.
A team of 50 rescuers was continuing to look through the area and dog teams had been deployed. Two medical helicopters also were on standby at the avalanche site, 2,100 meters above sea level.