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Teen with broken foot ran for help after avalanche plowed into hiking families

A 17-year-old boy with a broken foot ran to a nearby gas station for help while family members frantically dug out a person who had been buried when an avalanche slammed into a group of hikers in Kananaskis Country on the weekend.

2 families were hiking together on Mount Lawson in Kananaskis when the slide occurred

Two teenagers and a woman were badly injured after an avalanche on Mount Lawson hit families on a hike on Saturday. (Mark Matulis/CBC)

A 17-year-old boy with a broken foot ran to a nearby gas station for help while family members frantically dug out a person who had been buried when an avalanche slammed into a group of hikers in Kananaskis Country on the weekend.

But the eight people caught in the avalanche will all be OK, RCMP said Monday — even the three taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The two families were hiking together near Mount Lawson in the Fortress Junction area when the slide hit about 5 p.m., the RCMP said.

They were rescued after a 17-year-old boy ran to a nearby gas station — with a broken foot — to get help.

A 17-year-old girl with head injuries was taken to hospital by STARS.

Two others, a teen boy and an adult woman, were taken by ground ambulance to hospital in serious but stable condition.

One person had been completely buried, but dug out by other members of the party, the organization said.

The group was not equipped with any avalanche rescue equipment.

Kananaskis public safety said the avalanche was likely triggered by the afternoon heat and initiated at about 2,800 metres in elevation before travelling a significant distance down the slope to the group, who were well below the snowline.

"It is still very snowy at higher elevations. Mountaineers/climbers/scramblers need to keep this in mind for the weeks to come," the organization said.

"It may seem like summer in the valley, but there is still avalanche hazard in the mountains."

The temperature hit a high of 9.6 C in Kananaskis yesterday, and Avalanche Canada's latest bulletin recommends caution in the area as spring avalanches can be difficult to forecast.

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