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Snow and heat Mountain deaths in Swiss Alps nearly double

Rega rescue helicopter in mountains

2018 could be one of the worst years for accidents in the Swiss mountains.

(Keystone)

The number of deadly incidents in the Swiss mountains nearly doubled to 136 in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period last year.

In addition, the Swiss Alpine Clubexternal link says 2,753 people had to be rescued, an increase of 20% on 2017.

Extraordinary weather conditions with plenty of snow and a hot summer attracted more people to the mountains and hills for leisure activities, the Alpine Club said in a statement on Monday.

The high number of fatal accidents was the result of an increasing number of people skiing off-piste, on ski tours or with snow shoes, it added.

+ Seven people were killed in the Valais Alps, trapped by bad weather

The sharp rise in fatal accidents was already evident when the Alpine Club presented its half-year figures.

“The unfavourable intermediary figures are largely due to weather-related reasons. Similar conditions also led to a higher number of victims in the past,” the statement said.

In 2015, the mountaineering club recorded 144 fatal accidents, while 138 people died in 2011.

swissinfo.ch/ug

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