Walkers in hospital after avalanche ordeal





Four fell walkers were recovering in hospital tonight after they were swept away by an avalanche.





The party of men were thought to have triggered the incident as they walked on St Sunday Crag in Patterdale near Penrith, Cumbria.



Police were alerted to the avalanche by a member of the public at about 2.10pm today.



A RAF Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland was sent to the scene along with a 19-strong team from Patterdale Mountain Rescue and two North West Air Ambulance crews.



The men, believed to be from County Durham, were all located safely and taken to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.



Patterdale Mountain Rescue leader Martin Cotterell said two of the casualties suffered multiple injuries and were airlifted by stretcher in the helicopter. Another man suffered lesser leg injuries and was flown by air ambulance while the fourth walker appeared unhurt but was persuaded to go to hospital for a check-up, he said.



Mr Cotterell said: "We believe the party triggered the avalanche as they passed a point called Pinnacle Ridge. The two who were more seriously injured were swept away about 750ft.



"Some of the slopes in this area are currently unstable."



Following the incident, police urged people to avoid the Cumbrian fells.



A police spokeswoman added: "Cumbria police are urging fell-walkers, mountaineers and other people to be sensible and avoid going out on the Cumbrian fells today after receiving reports that walkers may be trapped in the snow.



"Although it looks like a very pleasant day today, police would urge people to postpone activities until the snow and icy conditions improve on high land due to the risk of unstable snow."

Later all four fell walkers were recovering in hospital.

The men were thought to have triggered the avalanche as they walked on St Sunday Crag in Patterdale.



The men, believed to be from County Durham, were all located safely and taken to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.



Patterdale Mountain Rescue leader Martin Cotterell said two of the casualties suffered multiple injuries and were airlifted by helicopter.



Another man suffered lesser leg injuries and was flown by air ambulance while the fourth walker appeared unhurt but was persuaded to go to hospital for a check-up, he said.

Comments