The Trail hospital’s heliport was in action Wednesday afternoon when two patients were transported by helicopter following an avalanche that struck a small group of heli-skiers in the Bonnington Mountain range near Blewett in the morning.
Police are releasing limited information at this time but B.C. RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk confirms that one man is dead and another person has life-threatening injuries.
“At this time we can confirm that the guide and one of the skier’s were able to self rescue themselves suffering only minor injuries and were able to dig out the remaining parties,” he said in the initial news release.
The second skier, a woman, died later in the day as a result of her injuries.
RCMP were notified of the avalanche at about 10 a.m. Wednesday morning and then immediately activated Nelson Search and Rescue (SAR) but SAR stood down shortly after, as the heli-ski operator had activated its emergency protocol with assets in position to immediately respond, rescue and remove the group.
The confirmed fatality brings this season’s total to nine deaths involving skiers or snowmobilers in B.C.