Eight students feared dead in Japan avalanche

Posted at 4:52 AM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 04:52:03-04

TOKYO – Eight high school students are feared dead after being caught in an avalanche at a Japanese ski resort Monday, according to a spokesman from the local fire department.

Firefighters carry a survivor they rescued from the site of an avalanche in Nasu town, Tochigi prefecture on March 27, 2017.
Eight high school students were feared dead on March 27 after being engulfed by an avalanche while on a mountain-climbing outing with dozens of others, officials said.  (Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

Poor weather conditions are hampering efforts by emergency crews to reach the Nasu Onsen Family ski area on the slopes of Mount Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, about 200 kilometers north of Tokyo.

Six other students are believed to be injured, according to one of the teachers accompanying the students, who spoke to officials by phone.

Thirty-two students and teachers were able to safely get down from the slope, the fire department spokesman said.

The students were part of a mountaineering club and had been taking ski lessons when local police received a report about the avalanche at 9:20 a.m. local time, according to local officials.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued an avalanche advisory warning for the region, following recent heavy snowfall.