Mont Blanc avalanche: Two skiers die in accident on Italian Alps

Rescue teams arrived at scene but victims had already perished

Olivia Campbell
Saturday 30 November 2019 16:43
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Although police have yet to release their identities, they have confirmed that both victims were Italian
Although police have yet to release their identities, they have confirmed that both victims were Italian

Two people have died in an avalanche on Mont Blanc, according to reports.

The victims were thought to have been skiing off piste when the avalanche hit at an altitude of around 10,000 feet, according to Rai News24.

The bodies of the two skiers were recovered by mountain rescue teams after the avalanche struck on the Italian side of the Alps on Saturday.

A fellow skier witnessed the accident near the Pointe Helbronner peak and alerted authorities.

Rescue teams rushed to the scene in helicopters, but were unable to save them by the time they had arrived.

According to the ARP Avalanche report, the Courmayeur area had warned off-piste skiers to be cautious when going off marked trails.

Although police have yet to release their identities, they have confirmed that both victims were Italian.

Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of Courmayeur, explained that he had not been given any more information about the accident but that he was “following the story”.

Their bodies have since been recovered from the snow and are now on the way to Courmayeur morgue so official identification can take place.

Sniffer dogs had been sent to the scene but had found no other missing individuals, according to la Repubblica.

Mont Blanc, which borders multiple countries, is the tallest mountain in Europe and has the highest fatality rate of any mountain on the continent.

At least 15 people died in 2018, while in 2012 as many as 11 people died in three consecutive days.

Mont Blanc’s 11 peaks are prone to many dangers such as warm weather avalanches and falling rocks and can also be an extremely hard route for those who are no experienced climbers.

It was also revealed in September that a glacier on the Italian side is at risk of collapse due to climate change, prompting fears that more accidents could happen in coming years.

Despite the potential risks, an estimated 30,000 visitors visit every year.

Additional reporting from Associated Press

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