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Skiers die in Kootenay avalanche

Victims part of heli-skiing group caught up in slide



A man and a woman are confirmed dead, another has been critically injured and three others have been taken to hospital with minor injuries following an avalanche in the Kootenays on Wednesday (March 21).

The backcountry slide took place around 10 a.m. near the Bonnington Range area near the town of Blewitt in the Selkirk Mountains, as a group was heliskiing with a commercial outfit. Four clients and their guide were involved. The guide and one person were able to dig themselves out, and went to assist the others.

One adult male skier died at the scene and a female skier died Wednesday afternoon after being airlifted to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. Three others were also admitted to hospital. Deceased are Katie Aring, 32, from Salt Lake City and Ryan Keene, 31, from London, England.

Nelson Rural RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are on scene.

These deaths bring the total of those killed in avalanches in B.C. to 10 this winter.