Several people are dead and more than a dozen others are injured following an avalanche in the interior of British Columbia.
Numerous others may be missing and a massive search operation is underway.
Late Saturday night, three people were reported dead and 17 others were injured. Among the injured, two are in critical condition, CTV News reports.
The avalanche occurred near Revelstoke, which is in the province's rugged interior, about 200 kilometres northeast of Kelowna.
The slide occurred as about 200 people were taking part in a large snowmobile gathering on Boulder Mountain on Saturday afternoon.
Helicopters and search dogs were scouring the area on Saturday and the mountain has been shut down.
The snowmobiling event is known as the Big Iron Shootout.
CTV camera operator Rod Romano arrived at the avalanche scene about three minutes after the slide occurred around 3 p.m. local time.
"When I arrived there was a flurry of activity" he told CTV News.
"People were digging furiously."
He added that two people were recovered within about 12 minutes of searching.
However, he said that the avalanche was massive, and snowmobiles that were caught in the slide were carried hundreds of metres downhill.
"The debris field was extremely large," he said.
The RCMP said that four provincial search and rescue teams are involved in the search.
"The area has been shut down to keep people out," said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. "They're going to continue on here with trying to remove people off the mountain in the area and tomorrow reassess where we're at."
Greg Johnson from the Canadian Avalanche Centre told CTV News Channel Saturday night that the area was hit by heavy snow on Thursday and Friday, which greatly increased the danger of a slide.
"That created a substantial avalanche risk," he said.
Johnson declined to give specifics about the avalanche rescue operation, but he did say that "there is definitely a rescue underway."
The area has seen 10 avalanches in recent days.
"The Canadian Avalanche Centre is issuing a special avalanche warning for the southern Selkirk and Monashee Mountains, the Kootenay-Boundary area, and the Southern Chilcotin Mountains," states a special warning on the Centre's website.
"We've had a lot of close calls recently and, although this new snow will be tempting, the avalanche conditions in these areas will be very dangerous."
With files from The Canadian Press
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