Boy, 12, ‘miraculously’ found alive after being buried by avalanche in French skiing resort

Sniffer dog found youngster who was unharmed

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 27 December 2018 20:23
La Plagne is accessible by train
La Plagne is accessible by train

A 12-year-old boy has miraculously survived being buried in snow for over 40 minutes after an avalanche hit the French skiing resort of La Plagne.

French police in the Alpine town of Bourg Saint-Maurice said the boy was skiing off piste in a group of seven skiers on Wednesday when he was swept away and buried.

His rescuers described finding him unhurt after 40 minutes in the snow as a true “miracle”.

The incident happened when the boy started going down the mountain ahead of the others in his group.

He was the only one caught when a large section of snow detached and roared down the mountain, police said.

He was dragged at least 100 metres by the force of the avalanche.

Rescue workers flew in a helicopter to the avalanche scene, which was at an altitude of 7,875 feet.

A sniffer dog found the boy, whose winter jacket was not equipped with an avalanche detector.

Rescue workers described the operation as “miraculous” because they said chances of survival are minuscule after 15 minutes under the snow.

Police said one of the reasons the boy survived was that his airways were not blocked by snow.

“We can call it a miracle. A day after Christmas, there was another gift in store,” Captain Patrice Ribes told AP.

The boy was still sent to a local hospital for a checkup.

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Additional reporting by AP

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