Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images
An avalanche struck a Japanese ski resort midmorning on Monday, overwhelming a student mountaineering exercise and leaving at least eight people with no vital signs, according to local authorities. Some 40 other students and teachers were injured in the avalanche, which hit the area in Tochigi Prefecture, nearly 100 miles north of Tokyo.
As the BBC notes, Japanese rescue officials typically will not pronounce victims dead until they receive confirmation from doctors at a hospital.
CNN, citing local police, reports that 62 people — mostly students — had descended on the small Nasu Onsen Family Ski Area for a three-day training program that attracted participants from seven high schools. Though the resort had recently closed for the skiing season, it had made some areas and facilities available specifically for the exercise.
Hints of trouble arose Sunday, when the Tochigi branch of the Japanese weather service issued an avalanche warning due to worsening conditions, according to The New York…