Police in Northern Norway confirmed they had found the bodies of two more of the four skiers who were killed by an avalanche in Tamokdalen in Troms on January 2. They were struggling, however, to locate the last victim and were trying again on Friday.
Search crews were using specially trained dogs to help find and dig out the body of the last person who disappeared while attemting to reach the top of the mountain known as Blåbærfjellet during the New Year holidays. Three of the missing skiers were tourists from Finland, while the fourth was a woman from Sweden.
There were five in their party, but one of the four men (also from Sweden), opted to simply ski on the side of the mountain while the others kept heading for the top. He grew alarmed when the four didn’t return from their trek and set off after them, until their tracks disappeared into the avalanche remains. Search efforts began immediately, but have been hampered by bad weather and danger of more avalanches in the area.
The first victim was finally found under mounds of snow on Wednesday, and two more on Thursday. Search crews were aided by special transmitters carried by the three that had sent out signals after the avalanche crashed down on the four skiers. Avalanche warnings had been posted that day, but the skiers had chosen to attempt their trek anyway.
“We have sent in two rescue dogs and we are working systematically to find the last victim in the area of the avalanche where the victim is most likely to be found,” John-Kåre Granheim, operations leader for the Midt-Troms Police District, told state broadcaster NRK on Friday. “I’m optimistic we’ll find the last person.” Efforts were expected to continue through the weekend.