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FRENCH ALPS

Two soldiers killed during hike in French Alps

Two soldiers aged 22 and 35 have died while out hiking in the French Alps.

Two soldiers killed during hike in French Alps
Illustration photo: AFP
The bodies of the two victims were found at the foot of the Dôme de Neige des Écrins in the Hautes-Alpes.
 
The incident took place on Saturday afternoon while the soldiers were off duty, with rescue teams locating them at 4 am on Sunday morning. 
 
“They were found in an area surrounded by cliffs, but we still do not know for the moment the circumstances of their fall,” the magistrate told the French press.
 
The two men, “equipped with crampons and climbing equipment” had left for a mountain hike “unrelated to their military function,” he said.
 
“We are not certain about their course, but we know that they slept in a shelter.”
 
A friend of one of the two men who was worried when he did not see them return alerted the police shortly after 9 pm.
 
The search involved a police helicopter which helped locate the bodies but it could not land due to the weather conditions at the time and foot patrol rescue services were called out. 
 
Several hikers have died in the French Alps in recent months. 
 
In August, a 68-year-old Frenchman was killed by falling rocks while hiking on Mont Blanc. 
 
In early August three people from the same group killed just days after four climbers — including an Italian man and two French women — died in the French Alps in three separate accidents.
 
 

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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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