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Alpine accidents Swiss mountains claim three lives over the weekend

Mountain peaks in snow

The alpine region where two snowshoes hikers fell to their deaths

(Keystone)

Three winter sports enthusiasts fell to their deaths in the Swiss Alps over the weekend. On Saturday two snowshoe hikers perished on the Hinterrugg peak while a ski tourer also fell to his death on the Mutteristock.

A 38-year-old Swiss man and a 28-year-old German died while out snowshoe hiking at a peak in canton St Gallen in the east of Switzerland. A group of skiers saw them fall some 400 metres and alerted the air rescue service, reported cantonal police.

In canton Glarus, in central Switzerland, a 57-year-old ski tourer plummeted 200 metres whilst on a narrow traverse. The difficult terrain hampered rescue efforts and the man was dead by the time he was found.

Mountain sports deaths declined in the first nine months of last year, according to Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) figures. The reduction of 91 fatalities from 115 in the same period in 2016 was put down to a mild winter and frequently inclement weather during summer weekends.

However, the start of the current winter season has seen far greater snowfall and better weather conditions at weekends. This has in turn led to a higher risk of avalanches, as demonstrated at the resort of Zermatt earlier this week, where fortunately no-one was hurt.

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swissinfo.ch/mga with agencies

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