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Two dead, 30 hurt as avalanche hits snow race

Two people were killed, 30 injured and others feared buried in the snow after an avalanche struck a mountain snowmobile rally near Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canadian police said yesterday.

Unstable snow conditions hampered efforts to get to search crews onto Boulder Mountain, where as many as 200 people were believed to be watching or participating in the annual event when the snow slide hit on Saturday, police said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an even worse tragedy may have been averted because many of the snowmobilers had come equipped with avalanche recovery equipment and dug people out even before rescuers arrived at the scene.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk told a news conference that two men are confirmed dead, not three as reported earlier in the chaotic hours after the slide. Moskaluk said they've managed to find almost everyone who registered for the event and most got off the mountain safely.

Moskaluk said the avalanche was "human triggered" and said all aspects of the incident and the deaths will be investigated by police and the coroner's office.

He did not say there will be no more bodies found, but he said RCMP have not had any further reports of people who remain missing and they believe they have an accurate list of participants. The slide struck around 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Boulder Mountain.