– Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond
My thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of those who have sadly been killed in this tragic accident, as well as those who are still being cared for in hospital.
I'd also like to thank all those involved in the rescue effort and the medical staff who are treating the injured.
This is another stark and tragic reminder of the dangers on our mountains. They are one of the most beautiful places on Earth but they can also be inherently dangerous with treacherous and changeable conditions.
– Police spokesman
Police can confirm that two people involved in the earlier avalanche at Cairngorm have sadly died.
A man and a woman who were airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary earlier have been pronounced dead and a third person, male, is in a critical condition.
No further information will be given about those involved until their families have been informed, the spokesman said.
The other members in the party, who were unhurt, were picked up by an RAF rescue helicopter after being located by Braemar Mountain Rescue Team on a hill near Carn Tarsuinn.
Two people have died and third is critically ill in hospital after an avalanche in Scotland's Cairngorm Mountains. The avalanche was reported shortly after midday in the Chalamain Gap area. There have been a number of similar incidents in the Cairngorms this winter.
At least three helicopters were scrambled to help with the rescue of 12 people caught up in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.
A spokesman for Northern Constabulary has said that the three people airlifted to hospital are "believed to be in a serious condition".
He added that two groups of six people had been in the area at the time of the avalanche, and have now been "walked off" the hill.
All three people feared missing in the avalanche in the Scottish Highlands have been found and airlifted to hospital in Aberdeen, police said. Officer said their condition is not known at present.
Police are holding a media briefing at 4:15pm today to provide an update on the search for those missing after the avalanche.
The area of the Scottish Highlands where the avalanche took place has seen several recent accidents:
- Earlier this week, a 31-year-old man was found dead in the Jacob's Ladder area. Five other members of the group he was with were rescued by helicopter.
- Earlier this month, three men survived falling 150 metres in an avalanche in the Coire an t-Sneachda area.
- In January, four people were killed in an avalanche in Glencoe.
One man has been airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and mountain rescue teams are continuing their search for two other people, police said.
A spokesman for the Northern Constabulary has said:
Police can confirm a number of people were caught up in the avalanche. There are possibly three people unaccounted for. Searches are continuing in the area.