Swiss mountain ice fall claims French and Spanish victims

The Grand Combin mountain peak, covered in snow, in western Switzerland. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

Two people have been killed, and nine injured, after a mountaineering group was struck by chunks of ice cascading from a summit in western Switzerland.

This content was published on May 27, 2022 - 18:20

Police said that a French citizen, aged 40, and a Spaniard, 65, were killed on the Grand Combin mountain in canton Valais during the accident on Friday.

Nine other members of the 17-strong mountaineering team were taken to hospital, two with serious injuries. The rest of the party has been evacuated from the scene by helicopter.

The peak of Grand Combin stands 4,314 metres above sea level, but the icefall occurred at a height of 3,400 metres in the ‘Plateau du Déjeuner’ area as the climbers were ascending to the summit via the ‘Voie du Gardien’ route.

The alarm was raised around 6.20 am on Friday, leading to a rescue operation involving seven helicopters from the Air-Glaciers, Air Zermatt and Rega rescue services.

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