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Several Climbers Dead, Injured After Avalanche Strikes French Alps

Goodshoot/ThinkstockUPDATE: Four mountain climbers who were earlier believed missing are no longer being classified as such; two had canceled their climb and two had taken a different route to the summit, according to the French military. The death toll remains at nine.

(PARIS) -- At least nine climbers are dead and nine others injured after an avalanche struck Mont Maudit in the French Alps early Thursday morning, the BBC reports.  More are said to be missing.

Authorities were alerted to the avalanche at around 5:25 a.m. local time as two dozen or so climbers were scaling the mountain.

The climbers, who have not been identified, were reportedly roped together during their climb.  Those injured were taken to nearby hospitals to be treated.  Their conditions are not yet known.

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