Four hikers die in Canada after avalanche hits popular trail

Family members talk with Search and Rescue teams as they try to find snowshoers caught in avalanche in Lions Bay B.C

Searchers use probes to search for the bodies of five hikers after they fell 500 metres from the top of Mt. Harvey near Lions Bay B.C. Choi received a call at 1 a.m. last night from her brother-in-law who said the RCMP had told him there was no hope his wife would be found alive.

Five hikers have been killed by an avalanche on a popular hiking trail near Vancouver, devastating the city's Korean community.

"They didn't do anything wrong", he said.

"I got to the summit and there was nobody there", he said in an interview on Monday.

Mr Colwell said the group had apparently stepped out onto a ledge of unsupported snow, without realising it, and it collapsed under them.

"It's very risky, it's very deceptive", he said, of the snow ledge.

The hikers died following an outing at the mountain in the Lions Bay area on Saturday, when they fell onto the debris left by an earlier avalanche.

The report said a hiker contacted authorities concerned because of the collapse of a cornice at the peak of Mount Harvey. He descended and phoned 911.

Colwell said the surviving hiker met another person walking up the trail who then alerted police.

"Unfortunately, near the summit, there's some very large deep cliffs to the north", he says.

When he saw the break, he knew the group had fallen, he said.

A North Shore rescue team was diverted Saturday from a training program near Pemberton to join in the rescue effort.

No information about the identities of the missing snowshoers is being released until all the family members have been notified.

The 62-year-old North Vancouver resident says that's when he knew the entire group had fallen over.

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