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2 missing, 1 saved in Montana avalanche

– An avalanche roared into a residential neighborhood in the western Montana city of Missoula on Friday, destroying a house and leaving an elderly couple missing, but rescuers found an 8-year-old boy alive and rushed him to a hospital, police said.

The boy’s condition wasn’t immediately known, police Sgt. Travis Welsh said.

An elderly couple lived in the home.

Their whereabouts were unknown, but police believe they were inside when the avalanche struck at about 4 p.m., according to Welsh.

Their cars were in the driveway, and neighbors said the couple rarely went out.

Neighbors and first responders dug frantically through the snow and debris, the Missoulian reported.

Firefighters with avalanche probes – long poles used to penetrate the snow to find victims – then took over, and the boy was pulled from the snow about 5:15 p.m.

The neighborhood is in northeastern Missoula at the foot of Mount Jumbo. A natural gas leak was also reported in the area and utility crews were summoned.

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