Sunday 17 December 2017

'No fatalities' after avalanche strikes French ski resort

Rescue operations have been called off at the Alpine resort (AP)
Rescue operations have been called off at the Alpine resort (AP)

There were no fatalities after an avalanche struck the Tignes ski resort in the Alps, French authorities have confirmed, and a search and rescue operation is now over.

The avalanche struck at 9.50am local time (8.50am GMT) on the La Carline ski slope, prompting the resort to shut down.

French media earlier reported that several skiers had been caught in the sudden snowfall.

"Several skiers were knocked around and taken care of by resort employees," the resort's press service said.

"No casualties were reported."

According to the statement, the avalanche started on the Grande Balme off-piste section, and then swept across La Carline slope.

TV footage of the resort showed bad weather conditions and poor visibility on the slopes.

Weather services had warned on Monday of a high avalanche risk in mountain ranges because of recent snowfall and strong winds.

The risk in Tignes is currently four on a scale of five, but the resort said parts of the ski area would remain open.

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

On January 18, a devastating avalanche buried a hotel in central Italy, killing 29 people.

Press Association

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