Two hikers on snowshoes, hit by avalanche in Italian Alps near Switzerland, are dead, rescuers say

Italy's alpine rescue service says two persons who were hiking with snowshoes have died after being struck by an avalanche

Via AP news wire
Sunday 07 January 2024 18:32 GMT
Italy Avalanche Deaths
Italy Avalanche Deaths (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Two hikers on snowshoes were killed by an avalanche in the Italian Alps near Switzerland, a rescue service said Sunday.

The avalanche occurred around noon on Sunday at the 2,200-meter (7,200-foot) level in the Formazza valley in the Piedmont region, said Federico Catania, a spokesperson for Italy's alpine rescue service.

The force of the avalanche pushed one of the victims into a lake near the bottom of the slope, while the other body was found in the mass of snow, he said.

Despite strong winds, a helicopter was able to lower a rescue team aided by a dog unit.

The identities of the two victims weren’t immediately released.

A search operation was launched after guards at a nearby dike reported seeing an avalanche strike two hikers, Catania said. An initial search by foot failed to find the hikers, prompting the use of the helicopter.

A firefighters helicopter carrying divers was dispatched to recover the body from the lake, rescuers said.

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