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Coroner should learn cause of avalanche that killed County of Grande Prairie man

B.C. Coroner Barb McLintock says she’s confident they’ll be able to figure out what triggered an avalanche that killed five Albertans Friday afternoon, including a County of Grande Prairie resident. 41 year old Tony Christopher Greenwood was snowmobiling with 17 other people on Mount Renshaw, which is about 20 kilometres east of McBride near the Alberta border.

They were in four separate groups and it’s reportedly unusual for that many people to be gathered in the small area. A large-scale avalanche hit the area around 1:30 p.m. burying all 17 in an area 700 metres wide and 800 metres long.

Five men died on the scene, and at least one more person is recovering from non-life threatening injuries. A member of the Robson Valley Search and Rescue Team says it’s likely the worst avalanche they’ve had in McBride.

McLintock says in addition to determining the cause of the slide, the B.C. Coroners Service will have to decide if it has any recommendations on how to prevent a similar tragedy.

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