Photo taken on Jan 25, 2023 shows roof tops are covered with snow in Nagano. (PHOTO / AFP)
TOKYO — Rescuers in Japan could discern no vital signs on Monday in two foreign men, as yet unidentified, after they were swept up in an avalanche while backcountry skiing in the central prefecture of Nagano, police said.
The men were among five foreigners engulfed in Sunday's avalanche, which took place at about 2:30 pm (0530 GMT) on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura in the ski resort, a police spokesman said.
Police would need time to pinpoint details of the victims, such as their nationalities
"The rescuers are now trying to come down to the mountain base with the bodies," the spokesman added, saying police would need time to pinpoint details of the victims, such as their nationalities.
READ MORE: Boy, 12, survives avalanche that buried him for 40 minutes
Media said one was Austrian and the other American, however.
The other three skiers had climbed down the mountain on their own on Sunday, the spokesman said. The five were skiing in two separate groups on the mountain, which is 2,469-m (8,100-ft) high.
Weather authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the area, following heavy snowfall in the past few days.
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