Monday, April 15, 2024

Five people who were skiing have been discovered deceased, and one individual is currently unaccounted for in the Swiss Alps

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On Sunday evening, the bodies of five missing skiers were discovered in the Swiss Alps, while rescuers are still looking for a sixth person, as per local police on Monday.

The group, consisting of five family members, left Zermatt, a popular skiing spot, on Saturday morning. They were reported missing in the Tête Blanche region, according to Valais canton police.

The skiers, aged between 21 and 58, were from Valais canton, except for the sixth person from Fribourg canton. The police did not disclose the identities of the deceased skiers found on Sunday in Tête Blanche.

A family member, who was supposed to meet the group in Arolla on Saturday afternoon, alerted the police when they didn’t arrive.

Search-and-rescue efforts began on Saturday when the skiers went missing near the 3,706-meter-high Tête Blanche pass on their way to Arolla. However, challenging weather conditions hindered operations, with a storm in the southern Alps and avalanche risks preventing helicopters and rescue teams from reaching the area.

Police mentioned that a team of five experienced rescuers attempted an overland approach from Zermatt overnight but had to abandon it above 3,000 meters due to severe weather conditions.

The operation involved special units of the Cantonal Police, a mountain group, and technical and telecommunication officers, along with rescuers from the Rescue Organization for the Canton of Valais and the Swiss Air Force.

The Zermatt-Arolla hiking route is part of the well-known Haute Route trail, connecting Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland, passing through the base of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

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