After an avalanche in the French Alps, at least five individuals have passed away, and one person is still missing. It occurred at noon on Sunday (9 April) at the Armancette glacier near Mount Blanc in southeast France.
Elisabeth Mollard, the deputy mayor, verified the fatalities and revealed to the French radio station RTL that two of the victims were local tour guides. Those who were hurt have been transported to the hospital.
A representative of the nearby community of Contamines-Montjoie, the avalanche was brought on by a snow slab detached from the mountain’s summit. Dogs trained in search and rescue assisted mountain rescue teams throughout the day as they made efforts to locate the trapped people.
The search for the missing person is anticipated to pick back up. The risk level on Sunday morning (9 April), according to Mr. Mattel, was “acceptable,” and both guides were well-versed in the area. The group is believed to have been backcountry skiing, when skiers travel into the unmarked or unmonitored territory. (According to BBC)
“Today, we are mourning, and there is great sadness among all of us mountaineers, friends of Les Contamines, those who died are people we knew, and all our thoughts go out to their families,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin have sent their sympathies. Before the tragedy, Les Contamines-Montjoie, a local ski resort, uploaded a video to social media that showed a massive wall of snow descending from the Dômes de Miage, of which the glacier is a part.
It’s unclear if the footage depicts the avalanche that caused the victims’ deἀths. One witness claimed to have spotted the avalanche while hiking directly in front of the Armancette glacier and had pulled out her phone to record it. (as reported by RNZ)
“I had put the phone in front of me but then I was looking with my eyes more than in the lens and suddenly there was a huge, huge, huge cloud that came down to the bottom, it split into two,” she said.
“I think of the families, I think of the people, of those who got out of it, who had the fright of their life, of those who are still there.”
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The adjacent ski resort advised visitors to exercise caution when traveling off-piste or away from the designated ski runs. Authorities told the AFP news agency that it was impossible to rule out the possibility of another avalanche.
In 2014, an avalanche on the same glacier claimed the lives of two brothers. They had been fully outfitted and were both seasoned mountaineers.
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