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Three survive Mt Taranaki avalanche

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/09/2016

Three men hit by an avalanche on Mount Taranaki have escaped with just a broken arm and minor injuries between them.

Rocks and lumps of ice, some as big as footballs, hit the trio, who police described as tourists, on the Eastern Summit Track on Sunday night.

The Taranaki Rescue helicopter was already flying in to rescue the men because of fears they wouldn't make it off the mountain before dark when the avalanche hit.

"When the rescuers arrived they had to navigate falling rocks and lumps of ice, ranging from the size of a golf ball to a football," police said in a statement.

"Police are pleased the rescue operation was a success and that everyone is now safely off the mountain."

The men were treated at Taranaki Base Hospital.

Police said the incident was a timely reminder for people to check the conditions on their planned route before they set off, and to ensure they have adequate clothing and gear.

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