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4 Snowboarders Dead in French Alps Avalanche
Published: February 13, 2017
Four skiers have been killed in an avalanche that struck a popular ski area near the French Alps resort of Tignes.
French authorities initially believe that more skiers had been caught in the disaster, but told the Associated Press the victims had been accidently entered into the skiing database twice.
(Victor Diwisch via AP)
The Republican Company for Alps Security in the town of Albertville said the group had been skiing off piste near Tignes when the avalanche hit Monday. It occurred in an area popular among international skiers for its extensive slopes and stunning views
All four fatalities — a 49-year-old instructor, a 48-year-old father, his 15-year-old son and a 19-year-old half-brother — are believed to be French but were not identified by officials by name.
They had been walking off piste — snowboards in hand — with a guide near the main Tignes slopes when the avalanche hit, Martrenchard said, adding that they were equipped with locator devices.
An Alps Security rescue worker said the bodies of the four dead had been retrieved by early afternoon. He said about 40 people had working on the rescue, which involved helicopters and local ski instructors.
The avalanche risk in the area was evaluated at three on a five-point scale. Other slopes at the resort were still open on Monday, the first day of the British winter school holidays.
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