An avalanche in Nelson, BC, has killed one police officer and left another critically injured.
Late Monday night, a Facebook page for the City of Nelson confirmed the police officers were on snowmobiles near Kaslo when they were struck.
“The Nelson Police Board, the City of Nelson, and the Nelson Police Department offer their condolences and support to the families at this time,” the post concluded.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the off-duty Nelson police officer killed yesterday in an avalanche while snowmobiling near Kaslo,” BC Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a statement Tuesday.
“This is a tremendous loss for Nelson and for policing in British Columbia, and we are here to support the Nelson Police Department and the City of Nelson in this difficult time,” he added.
So far, details about the incident are sparse and the officers’ identities have not been revealed, but officials say more information will be released to the public “in the coming days.”
Avalanche Canada says the Kaslo area was, and remains, under “considerable” danger. Mountain ranges close by threaten weather conditions in the area.
“Considerable” is the third of five levels on the weather body’s danger scale. “Under considerable danger, natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered ones are likely,” its glossary reads.
“Avalanche conditions are considered dangerous and careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision making is essential.”