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Skier dies after falling into tree well at B.C. resort: police

Red Mountain Resort is located just north of Rossland, B.C. (Red Mountain Resort - image credit)
Red Mountain Resort is located just north of Rossland, B.C. (Red Mountain Resort - image credit)

A 76-year-old man has died after falling into a tree well at Red Mountain Resort in British Columbia's Interior, police say.

RCMP say they received reports around 3:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday of a man in critical condition at the resort just outside Rossland, around 150 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, B.C.

The man had been found unconscious and buried under snow in a tree well on resort property by another skier, police said. They said members of the resort's volunteer ski patrol rescued the man from the tree well and he was taken to Kootenary Boundary Regional Hospital in nearby Trail, where he died.

Trail RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said the man was a "long-time, well known" resident of the area who loved skiing. He said police won't be releasing his name at his family's request.

"This loss marks a sad day for the City of Rossland," he said. "It's very sad. With a community this small, I think there will be a period of mourning and reflection."

Wicentowich said police don't believe weather or snow conditions on the ski hill are related to the death.

"Unfortunately, when people fall into a tree well they can lose the ability to breathe and go unconscious," he said.