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FRENCH ALPS

American man killed in Base jumping accident in French Alps

A 38-year-old American man was killed on Wednesday in a Base jumping accident in the French Alps.

American man killed in Base jumping accident in French Alps
Illustration photo: AFP
The man was jumping off a cliff near the town of Petit-Bornand-les-Glières in the Haute-Savoie department of the French Alps.
 
The accident is believed to have taken place at around 8 pm on Wednesday evening, according to local press reports
 
The exact circumstances of his death are unknown, mountain rescue teams reported, however it is presumed he was destabilised by trees after he made his jump in the mountainous area of rochers de Leschaux.
 
His body was quickly found by mountain rescue in a rocky area, local press reports stated. 
 
He was accompanied by another Base jumper from the US and both were experienced in the extreme sport, which sees people jumping or wingsuit flying from a fixed structure, such as a building or bridge, or cliff edge, and plummeting towards the ground before opening a parachute.
 
Chamonix bans wingsuits after spate of deaths in Alps
Photo: AFP
 
It is not clear whether the victim was wearing a wingsuit or not.
 
The news was announced by the mountain rescue team in Annecy on Thursday morning.
 
On June 10th another BASE jumping enthusiast in his twenties died in the Drôme when the his parachute didn't open in time. 
 
In 2016, the mayor of the French Alps town of Chamonix had banned the extreme sport of wingsuit flying for six months after a spate of deaths in the previous months.
 
The mayor said he was particularly worried for the safety of people in the town after a Russian wingsuit flyer crashed into a recently built châlet.
 
And that wasn't the first time the mayor of Chamonix had decided that a ban was the only way to cut the number of deaths.
 
Eric Fournier introduced a similar provisional ban back in 2012 after another spate of deaths.
 
“For us, adventure doesn't mean extreme risk. We have to ask questions of responsibility and respect for other sports,” he said at the time.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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FRENCH ALPS

‘It’s a miracle’: Boy survives 40-minute burial after avalanche in French Alps

A 12-year-old boy was found alive Wednesday 40 minutes after being swept away and buried by an avalanche while skiing with his parents in the French Alps, rescuers said.

'It's a miracle': Boy survives 40-minute burial after avalanche in French Alps
Illustration photo: AFP
The family had just left a groomed run for an off-piste sector at the La Plagne ski area in southeast France when the boy was caught by the cascading mass of snow at around 2:00 pm (1300 GMT).
   
He was not carrying a transmitting beacon that could alert rescuers to his position quickly.
   
But a sniffer dog brought in by the French mountain police squad from nearby Courchevel found him around 40 minutes later.
   
“It's a miracle because he had no victim detection device. The chances of survival are minuscule after 15 minutes under the snow,” one of the rescuers told AFP.
   
The child, who suffered only a broken leg, was taken to the hospital at Grenoble.
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