Ski Resorts News
One of the people rescued from an avalanche at the Swiss ski resort of Crans-Montana died in hospital overnight. Three other people were injured by the huge avalanche that struck on Tuesday. Rescuers suspended a coordinated search on Wednesday morning.
The person who died was a 34-year-old man who was member of the ski piste patrol, the authorities said.
Rescuers worked all night above the resort in canton Valais to try to find skiers who might have been trapped in the avalanche. Witnesses had told police that there could be more people under the snow.
On Tuesday, a huge avalanche swept down the mountain at an altitude of 2,500 metres, just below the Plaine-Morte Glacier, and hit the popular Kandahar ski slope at 2.20pm at a spot known as “Passage du Major”.
The police said it measured over 840 metres long and 100 metres wide and spread over the slope for about 400 metres.
According to the local avalanche bulletin, the avalanche danger was level 2 (moderate) on a scale of 1-5 on Tuesday. The accident came as warm temperatures over the past week began melting heavy snow and coincided with school holidays in some cantons.
Rescue services were immediately on the spot and the search continues. Eight helicopters and more than 240 police and rescue workers are involved in the emergency operation, including army officers who were there to help prepare for two Women's Alpine Ski World Cup races next weekend.
A report by the Valais-based Le Nouvelliste newspaper quoted the commune's president Nicolas Feraud as saying 10 to 12 people were believed to be trapped in the snow.
“We heard a loud noise. After, there was a huge avalanche. I have never seen a 1.5-metre-4 metre high avalanche in my life. It was just impressive. We were almost left behind too. It was a close call,” Martial, a 40-year-old skier, told 20Minutes news site.
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