Skier killed in alpine avalanche named

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A British skier died after being swept away by an avalanche in the Italian Alps, mountain rescue officials said today.

James Ryan was skiing off-piste in Val di Rhemes with a group of friends and a guide when he was caught in the tumbling snow yesterday.

The 37-year-old from Huddersfield died on the way to hospital, a mountain rescue spokesman said.

One of his companions, who was also engulfed in the snowfall, survived.

The avalanche took place at about 5pm, when the group was skiing near the Punta Paletta run on Mount Rosso.

It was thought to be about 400 metres (437 yards) wide.

The spokesman said the weather in the region had been warm.

The incident is the latest of a number of mountain-related deaths recorded in the Aosta region this year, he added.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in Saint-Christophe, in a province of Aosta on March 28.

"Next of kin are aware and we are providing consular assistance."