5 French citizens missing after avalanche in northern Italy

Rescue officials say five French citizens are missing after being swept away by an avalanche during an excursion in Italy's northwestern Alps. The civil defense agency in the city of Aosta said the group was overrun by the avalanche Thursday afternoon at an altitude of about 2,500 meters while traveling through the Gran Paradiso National Park, an Alpine area north of Turin and near the French border. The group's guide, also a French citizen, was pulled from the snow Thursday evening, but the search for the five missing was suspended as darkness fell. The ANSA news agency reported the guide was hospitalized in Aosta in a semiconscious state. Rescuers plan to resume the search for the five missing at dawn on Friday.