March 27 (UPI) — Rescuers recovered the bodies of eight high school students after an avalanche struck a Japanese ski resort on Monday, emergency officials said.
Another 40 people were injured, the local fire department reported, in the avalanche at the Nasuonsen Family Ski Resort, in Nasu, 93 miles north of Tokyo. They were part of a group of 60 students from seven high schools involved in a climbing exercise when they were buried by the avalanche.
The resort ended its season of skiing activities last week, and the weekend climbing event was scheduled to end several hours after the avalanche struck. The avalanche was preceded by more than 1 foot of snow in the area in an eight-hour period, and an avalanche warning was issued on Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported.
The eight were found with no vital signs.
In a separate incident, an unidentified mountain climber, 70, was found unconscious in another avalanche as he climbed Mount Adatara in neighboring Fukushima province. His climbing partner, 64, was unhurt.