Easter avalanche in French Alps kills 6, authorities say

The death toll from an avalanche in the French Alps Sunday rose to six, including two mountain guides, local authorities said Monday.

The prosecutor’s office in Bonneville, in the Haute-Savoie region, said a sixth body was found after searches resumed Monday morning.

The prefecture of Haute-Savoie said one person was sent to the hospital with minor injuries. Eight others were found unharmed.

No details have been provided on the identity of the victims.

The avalanche on Sunday rolled down the Armancette glacier in Contamines-Montjoie, in the Haute-Savoie region, almost 20 miles southwest of Chamonix.  The local France-Bleu radio station put the size of the avalanche at 3,280 feet long and 328 feet wide.

The Alps are a prime vacation spot over France’s long Easter weekend.

National weather agency Meteo France hadn’t issued a specific avalanche warning for Sunday, assessing the risk as “limited.”

Skiing conditions had been “good,” the mayor of the town of Contamines-Montjoie, Francois Barbier, told Agence France-Presse.

“I think it’s the most deadly avalanche this season,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “”We’re thinking of (the victims) as well as of their families.”

Two brothers died in an avalanche on the same glacier in 2014, AFP notes, adding that they were experienced climbers in their 20s.


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