Date
20 August 2017
Japan Self-Defense Forces soldiers carry victims after an avalanche hit a group of high school students and teachers climbing near a ski resort north of Tokyo on Monday. Credit: Kyodo/Reuters
Japan Self-Defense Forces soldiers carry victims after an avalanche hit a group of high school students and teachers climbing near a ski resort north of Tokyo on Monday. Credit: Kyodo/Reuters

Avalanche kills 7 schoolkids, instructor at Japan ski resort

Seven high-school students and an instructor died in Japan on Monday after they were hit by an avalanche while on a mountaineering field trip at a ski resort north of Tokyo.

According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 50 students and instructors were caught by a morning avalanche in the town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture.

Police confirmed the deaths of eight people late Monday, the report said. Forty other people were injured, including two who were in serious condition

Japanese media said the students were on the last day of a three-day training program for members of mountaineering clubs from seven schools in the area. 

Heavy snow had fallen overnight, so a planned climb was canceled and instead students were practicing moving through heavy snow as mountain survival training, public broadcaster NHK said.

As the group was on the field trip, there was a strong wind and a white mass of snow suddenly descended on them, leading to the fatalities.

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