Tuesday 19 February 2019

Fifth hiker dies after snowstorm hit the Alps

Swiss Alps
Swiss Alps
Independent.ie Newsdesk

A fifth person has died from injuries sustained when an unexpected snowstorm surprised a group of Alpine hikers in south-western Switzerland, forcing them to spend the night out in the cold.

Efforts to identify the victims are continuing, the regional Valais police said.

A day earlier, Valais police said the 14 hikers trapped overnight were from France, Germany and Italy.

Police initially said four people had died and another five were in critical condition in hospital following a rescue and recovery operation involving seven helicopters.

Several of those rescued were suffering from hypothermia.

Police said the climbers were trying to reach the Vignettes hikers' hut at 3,157 metres (10,357ft) in the Alps.

Europe has experienced turbulent weather recently, with unseasonable spells of hot and cold.

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