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Thirteen-hour ordeal Rescuers pull toddler from Swiss mountain crevasse

Rescuers worked through the night to rescue the stricken girl.

(Kantonspolizei Wallis)

More than 100 rescuers fought for 13 hours to save a two-year-old girl who had fallen down a crevasse near the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland. 

Details of Wednesday’s dramatic rescue in southwestern Switzerland have filtered through the Swiss media. The girl slipped on a path and became lodged in the six-metre deep crevasse, prompting a full-scale alert of emergency services.

“We had to remove the rock centimetre by centimetre in a short space of time,” Matthias Lorenz, the commander of the local fire brigade in the southwestern canton of Valais, told the Swiss news agency. “We have never had such a rescue operation as this before.”

Groups of rescuers alternated every few minutes to keep up the pace of the operation. The child was finally pulled free at around 2am, her ordeal having started at 11.45am the previous day. The girl, from the German-speaking region of Switzerland, was on a family holiday.

The event has not been linked to the landslides and rockfalls currently being experienced in the nearby Moosfluh area. More than 150 million cubic metres of rock are in motion on this western side of the glacier. 

However, the accident site was in a different part of the Aletsch region. It is not uncommon for crevasses to open up on mountains as a result of natural erosion, rescuers noted.

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