British and French skiers were among four people killed in an avalanche near the Italian resort of Courmayeur.

Two people from the UK and two from France were reported missing on Sunday afternoon, when the risk of avalanches in the area was high.

Searchers found all four bodies on Monday after a lengthy search, the BBC reported.

A total of eight people, including a Belgian snowboarder, died in Italy as a result of weekend avalanches.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica said the alarm was raised by friends of the two skiers from Britain at around noon on Sunday, when the pair failed to arrive at a meeting point. They were on the last day of their holiday, the newspaper said.

Italian media also reported that the skiers had gone off-piste in Vel Veny – meaning they were not skiing on the slopes managed by the nearby resort.

Search operations were hampered by the continuing risk of avalanches, preventing search teams from going on foot, and search efforts had to temporarily suspended on Sunday.

Italy’s Ansa news agency said the four dead discovered on Monday were a 39-year-old originally from New Zealand and a 43-year-old originally from Switzerland, who both lived in London; and a 36-year-old Frenchman and a 38-year old Polish man who both lived in France.

At least one was a British national.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) earlier said it was “supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing, and are in contact with the Italian search and rescue team.”

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