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Young boy, 2 adults recovered from Rattlesnake avalanche

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Feb 28 2014 04:32:38 PM MST
Updated On: Mar 01 2014 08:01:27 AM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

LATEST UPDATE: Three victims were recovered alive and breathing from the avalanche that occurred just after 4pm in a Rattlesnake neighborhood. Officials said the slide destroyed one house. The fire department is bringing in a special avalanche team to assess the potential for secondary slides.

A witness who helped dig the woman of avalanche out has confirmed she was responsive and wiggling her fingers and toes.

Missoula police confirm an 8-year old boy rescued from an avalanche Friday afternoon in the Rattlesnake is alive.  We are told he is in the hospital and we do not know the extent of his injuries.

The boy was rescued along with an elderly man.  That man, officials said, is also alive.

However, the search continues for a missing woman. 

Officials said the slide destroyed one house. They are not sure the relationship, if any, between the victims.

The fire department is bringing in a special avalanche team to assess the potential for secondary slides.

At this point, there are no mandatory evacuations.  However, people who want or need to leave their homes can go to First Baptist Church at Pine and Woody.  The Red Cross has set up a shelter there.

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Authorities were unsure if an elderly couple was in a house crushed by an avalanche that slid down Mount Jumbo on Friday.

Missoula crews rushed to the Rattlesnake on the 900 block of Holly Street.

Initially a group of people were digging, looking for a young boy trapped in the snow. Sleds and skis were in the debris. Numerous volunteers were rushing forward with shovels and several firefighters were also digging frantically.

Emergency teams called for help from Search and Rescue as well as any Ski Patrol members.

Police stopped all traffic in the Rattlesnake at Lolo and rerouted them to Greenough.