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Avalanche claims one life in canton Valais

An avalanche near the Great St Bernard Pass in canton Valais has claimed the life of a French skier and left two others with minor injuries. The avalanche which came down on Monday buried three off-piste skiers.

An avalanche near the Great St Bernard Pass in canton Valais has
claimed the life of a French skier and left two others with minor injuries.
The avalanche which came down on Monday buried three off-piste skiers.

The police in canton Valais said the avalanche struck at 8.40 a.m. at over 2,400 metres above-sea-level.

The three skiers buried under the snow belonged to a group of 20 who had set out from a mountain hut to return to Bourg-St-Pierre in the valley, when the avalanche took them by surprise. One of the group managed to alert the rescue services on returning to the hut.

It is thought the body weight of the group triggered the avalanche. At the time of the accident, the Federal Institute for Avalanche Research in Davos had recorded a high avalanche risk.

Around 20 rescue workers spent the morning looking for the avalanche victims with the help of sniffer dogs and two helicopters. Despite bad weather conditions, the rescue teams were able to take two of them to a nearby hospital.

According to official figures, at least 16 people have died in avalanche-related incidents this year.

swissinfo with agencies

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