- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2020

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Two German nationals have died in an avalanche near a glacier on Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago, which sits more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland.

The Governor of Svalbard was informed slightly before 3 p.m. Thursday that two people who were part of a tour organized by Russian firm Arctic Travel Company Grumant were missing near the Fridtjov glacier.

A helicopter and an avalanche dog were immediately dispatched to the remote islands but the two, who were not identified, were confirmed dead by rescuers, the governor said in a statement.

The glacier is located near Barentsburg, a Russian coal-mining town. Under a 1920 treaty, Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago, but other signatory countries have rights to exploit its natural resources.

Barentsburg, Svalbard’s second-largest settlement, has 435 inhabitants, mostly Russians and Ukrainians.



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