On vacation, at least four people died in the Savoie resort of Tignes. “There is evidence that there is no other victim,” said Nicolas Martrenchard, the sub-prefect of Albertville. It is the deadliest avalanche since the beginning of the ski season.
Initially, a rescue team had raised a group of eight people accompanied by a ski instructor and soon four who died had taken out of the snow.
But two sources close to the French Ski School reported in the end of a group of snowboarders ESF Tignes-Le Lac, consisting of a monitor 60 “very experienced, very good skier” , accompanied by a father, a son about 18 years, a half-brother about 15 years. Their bodies were found, all holders of avalanche detection equipment.
Confusion on the group composition
While initial information led to fear that a fifth person could join the group at the last minute without being registered, the sub-prefect of Albertville said late Monday afternoon that “there no reason to believe that there are other victims after the latest research and audits by the aid “ .
“There was confusion because the group is a party with another monitor but this has been confirmed with the school” , according to sources of the ESF. “Fortunately, there are fewer people than expected as announced initially. Research continues, “ for a fifth potential victim, confirmed a municipal source in Tignes. “Forty ski patrol rescuers are on site and helped, because of thick snow by mechanical means” , stated the resort in late afternoon.
400 meters wide
The avalanche occurred in the area of off-road Tovière, located 2100 meters above sea level, according to Le Dauphiné . This is the station staff who saw the spectacular avalanche, 400 meters wide that occurred near the station, on the area off-piste of Tovière, a few blocks away from the lifts.
They raised the alarm at 10:35, according to a news station. A wind slab was taken down after the passage of this group of holiday skiers in the station, said one.
Rescue teams mobilized immediately, supported locally by several dog teams and ski instructors and other trackers.
The ski patrol Tignes and several dog teams were mobilized helped the staff of the resort and ski instructors lend a hand to rescue workers.
Tignes-Val d’Isère is one of the largest French Alps ski resorts whose climax is 3 456 meters. Located in the Vanoise massif, it offers 480 hectares of marked track for about 80 ski lifts and 3200 hectares off-piste
The most serious accident since the start of the season
This is the most serious accident since the start of the ski season. On Monday, the avalanche risk was 3 on a scale of five, according to the station. Described as “marked” by Météo France, this level does not provide in principle “spontaneous departures of large-scale avalanches” , but warns of the risk of triggering “mainly by high overload” and some specific slopes.
Since the beginning of the season, there were 13 avalanche accidents in the Alps and Pyrenees, which made a total of three dead , according to a statement from the National Association for the Study of Snow and Avalanches (Anena ). Last season, there were 45 accidents with 21 deaths in total.
The deadliest avalanche in France dates back to January 18, 2016, when eleven soldiers were washed away during training on a track Valfrejus (Savoie). Five were killed instantly and a sixth had died a few days later.
The most serious of the past decade has occurred in the summer, in 2012, in the Mont-Blanc with nine dead and nine minor injuries at Mont Maudit.
— francetv éducation (@francetveduc) February 13, 2017
Weekend Murder in the Alps
The weekend has been deadly in the Alps. Sunday, the Haute-Savoie department has been overshadowed by two deaths. In the morning, a snow slide had taken a young skier on the sector backcountry of Praz-sur-Arly.
Hours later, another skier had been trained in an avalanche in La Clusaz and could not be resuscitated. Since the weekend, the avalanche risk is 3 on a scale of 5 in Haute-Savoie.