An avalanche on Svalbard has killed two German tourists

The two were part of a group traveling around Fridtjofbreen, about 60 kilometers west of Longyearbyen.

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A file photo shows a previous avalanche in Svalbard’s Todal valley. (Markus Eckerstorfer)

OSLO — Two Germans were killed on Thursday when an avalanche hit a glacier in the western part of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norwegian news agency NTB said.

The two were part of a guided group traveling with a Russian tourist company, the office of the governor of Svalbard said on its website.

[Darkness, bad weather prevent search after Svalbard avalanche]

The avalanche occurred in the area around Fridtjofbreen, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of Longyearbyen, the biggest settlement on the archipelago.

A helicopter with rescue personnel and an avalanche dog were sent to the scene, the governor’s office said.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty.