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Police: 4 skiers likely dead after avalanche in Norway

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A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian police say four skiers who went missing after an avalanche in northern Norway this week have most likely died.

Police spokesman Morten Pettersen says "we no longer have any hopes of finding anyone alive." He said a helicopter on Friday picked up two avalanche beacon signals from an area in Tamok valley, near the northern city of Tromsoe, that had been hit by an avalanche. The skiers included a woman from Sweden and three men from Finland.

Mads Gilbert of the University Hospital of North Norway told a news conference in Tromsoe that "it was impossible to survive nearly two days buried in snow."

A search-and-rescue operation was launched after Wednesday's 300-meter (990-foot) wide avalanche. The skiers were last heard from that day. Heavy snowfall and poor visibility on Thursday had hampered rescue efforts.

A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A military helicopter and rescue workers arrive to take part in the search for four missing skiers in the nearby mountain in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
The car belonging to four missing skiers is parked in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
Police cars in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
The car belonging to four missing skiers is parked in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
The car belonging to four missing skiers is parked in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
Police cars in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
Police cars in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A military helicopter and rescue workers arrive to take part in the search for four missing skiers in the nearby mountain in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A military helicopter and rescue workers arrive to take part in the search for four missing skiers in the nearby mountain in Tamokdalen, Northern Norway, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)
A rescue worker with his dog in Tamokdalen, northern Norway, Thursday Jan. 3, 2019. Norwegian officials say four people from Sweden and Finland are missing after an avalanche in northern Norway but strong winds, heavy snowfall and poor visibility are hampering rescue efforts. (Terje Bendiksby/NTB Scanpix via AP)