Four skiers die in French Alps avalanche

The Local France
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Four skiers die in French Alps avalanche
Archive Photo: AFP

At least four skiers died in an avalanche in the southern French Alps on Friday, authorities have said.


The avalanche occurred at the ski resort of Entraunes, on the edge of the Mercantour National Park in the Alpes-Maritimes department.

The local gendarmes said that as well as the four fatalities there was also another person missing and one person injured.

According to reports the avalanche was triggered just before 1pm. 

Georges-Francois Leclerc, chief of the Alpes-Maritimes region, said the avalanche had struck people who were ski touring with their guide in an off-piste area near the Mercantour national park.

A rescue operation was under way. The warning level for the risk of avalanches in the area was at level 4 out of 5 on Friday, meaning snowslides were highly likely.

The south east of France has been hit by heavy snow in recent days that even saw the resort of Nice covered in a white blanket.

However temperatures have warned up in the last 24 hours which can increase the risk of avalanches in the mountains.

There have been several deadly avalanches in France this winter. Only last week a father and daughter were swept to the deaths whilst skiing on a closed piste near Val d'Isere.

That tragedy came just days after three skiers were killed by an avalanche in the Pyrenees.

A total of 16 people have died since France's ski season began in November, and 11 others have been injured.




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