Coire an t-Sneachda. Photo: Iain Lees CC-BY-SA-2.0

Coire an t-Sneachda. Photo: Iain Lees CC-BY-SA-2.0

Three people have been airlifted to hospital after being injured in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.

Northern Constabulary said the three were caught in the avalanche shortly before 11.30am today.

The incident happened in Coire an t-Sneachda on the north face of Cairn Gorm.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team members were joined at the scene by members of the Strathclyde Police Mountain Rescue Team who were training in the area.

A search and rescue Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth joined in the rescue operation.

A police spokesperson said: “Three people have been taken to Raigmore Hospital [in Inverness] by air and are not thought to have sustained serious injuries.”

Earlier in the day, two men were avalanched near the Fiacaill Butress at the western end of Coire a t-Sneachda, but were uninjured.

It is believed the three climbers caught in the later avalanche, who were reported to be wearing helmets, suffered leg injuries in the incident, in which they were swept about 150m (500 ft) down the mountain.

The sportscotland Avalanche Information Service said the risk of avalanches on north-facing slopes in the northern Cairngorms today was generally low to moderate, though localised areas of considerable risk were possible on north-eastern aspects.

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