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8 dead, 25 hurt in Quebec avalanche

At least eight people died, 25 were injured and one boy was still missing in a New Year's Day avalanche Friday that buried a community center in a remote northern village in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Police said the avalanche struck shortly past midnight as up to 500 New Year's revelers, including children, were packed into the building in the Inuit native community of Kangiqsualujjuaq (pronounced Kan-JIK-soo-an-oo-joo-ak), a coastal village 950 miles north of Montreal on Ungava Bay, off the Labrador Sea.

Partygoers scrambled to safety and dug through the snow for survivors. Rescue workers were dispatched to help the effort.

Military and provincial police attempting to get more personnel into the area were hampered by a fierce winter storm, but one plane with 15 emergency workers had arrived.

Two other planes carrying more police officers and search dogs also were en route.

Quebec provincial police spokesman Ronald McInnis said 10 people had serious injuries.

The avalanche roared down a 656-foot hillside into the community center, covering the building with up to 10 feet of snow, authorities said.

Another avalanche was possible and the center's roof could cave in, police officer Ronald McInnis said.

The 600-member Inuit community has only one doctor and two aboriginal police officers. Inuit are also known as Eskimos.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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