Monday 11 December 2017

Several people swept away after avalanche hits ski resort

  • Avalanche struck at 10am local time near relatively 'easy' blue slope
  • Rescue workers say many skiers swept away
  • Fog made it impossible for emergency workers from outside resort to get there
  • Authorities say there were no deaths

Alpine ski resort in Tignes, France, March 15, 2011 (File photo: Reuters)
Alpine ski resort in Tignes, France, March 15, 2011 (File photo: Reuters)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Many skiers were swept away when an avalanche struck the French ski resort of Tignes but authorities say that nobody was killed.

The avalanche came down at about 10am (local time) in the Val Claret area of the resort, near a relatively easy "blue" slope, a local emergency services spokesman said.

The vast Tignes ski area was entirely closed and skiers were evacuated by resort staff and police.

Rescue conditions were difficult because of fog which made it impossible for emergency workers from outside the resort to get there by helicopter. They had to come by road instead.

Authorities confirmed, shortly after 11am that there were no deaths and the rescue operation was over.

The avalanche risk was high on Tuesday at four on a scale of five.

"The Irish Embassy in Paris is monitoring developments.  Anyone affected by  the avalanche and who requires consular assistance or has any concershould call the Irish Embassy in Paris on 01441 - 76700," a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Four snowboarders died last month in Tignes in another avalanche near the resort.

In January 29 people died after a hotel at an Italian ski resort was struck by an avalanche.

Nine people were pulled out alive in the first days of the rescue operation.

 

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