Boy, 12, survives avalanche that buried him for 40 minutes

PARIS (AP) — Authorities in the French Alps say a 12-year-old boy has been found alive after being buried under an avalanche for 40 minutes.

French police in the town of Bourg Saint-Maurice say the boy was skiing off piste at the La Plagne ski resort in a group of seven skiers Wednesday when he was swept away by a huge mass of snow.

Rescue workers flew in a helicopter to the avalanche scene, which was 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) high up the mountain. A sniffer dog found the boy, whose snowsuit was not equipped with an avalanche detector.

Rescue workers described the operation as "miraculous" because chances of survival are minuscule after 15 minutes under the snow.

The boy escaped unscathed and was sent to a local hospital for a checkup.