2 Men Killed in Avalanche in Japan Identified


Nagano, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--The two men who died after being hit by an avalanche in the central Japan prefecture of Nagano on Sunday have been identified, local police said Tuesday.

One of the two victims was Kyle Smaine, a U.S. citizen who won a gold medal in halfpipe at the freestyle ski and snowboarding world championships in 2015, according to the Nagano prefectural police department.

The identity was confirmed by his family through a video call, the police said.

The other victim was a 30-year-old Australian national, the police said.

The avalanche occurred on the eastern slope of Mount Hakuba Norikura in the village of Otari on Sunday afternoon, hitting a group of foreigners enjoying backcountry skiing.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press