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Eight students feared dead in Japan avalanche

Students were part of a mountaineering club

TOKYO (CNN) - Eight high school students are feared dead after being caught in an avalanche at a Japanese ski resort Monday, according to a spokesman from the local fire department.

Poor weather conditions are hampering efforts by emergency crews to reach the Nasu Onsen Family ski area on the slopes of Mount Nasu in Tochigi Prefecture, about 200 kilometers north of Tokyo.

Six other students are believed to be injured, according to one of the teachers accompanying the students, who spoke to officials by phone.

Thirty-two students and teachers were able to safely get down from the slope, the fire department spokesman said.

The students were part of a mountaineering club and had been taking ski lessons when local police received a report about the avalanche at 9:20 a.m. local time, according to local officials.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued an avalanche advisory warning for the region, following recent heavy snowfall.


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