At least four skiers were killed in an avalanche Monday in the French Alps near the resort of Tignes, and rescuers say they're trying to dig out five others. Many in the group are reported to be related. By mid-afternoon, the town of Tignes said the chances of finding survivors among those five are slim. The avalanche struck the mountain at about 6,900 feet in altitude in a sector known as Toviere, which is popular for its extensive slopes and stunning views, reports the AP. A group of nine people had been skiing near the main slopes with a guide when the avalanche hit, according to the Republican Company for Alps Security.
Many were members of the same family, according to the Tignes statement. The skiers are believed to be French and were equipped with locator devices, it said. An Alps Security rescue worker said the bodies of the four dead had been retrieved by early afternoon. He said the five other skiers have been located and were "in the process of being extracted" from the snow. The rescuer, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said it's unclear whether all five were still alive. (Read more avalanche stories.)