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Two People Missing After Japan Avalanche

January 5, 2003

TOKYO (AP) _ An avalanche buried a half-dozen cars under yards of snow on a mountain road in central Japan on Sunday, leaving two people missing, police said.

Seven people were inside the cars covered by the Sunday morning slide on a well-traveled road in Azumi village in Nagano state, local official Chiaki Aoki said. The avalanche blocked the road.

Rescue crews found five people unhurt, but were searching for two others still missing, he said.

An employee of Shirahone Hot Spring, near the avalanche site, said snow was steadily falling and was about three-feet deep.

Azumi is located in the Japanese Alps about 112 miles northwest of Tokyo.

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