British man dies as 10 people swept away in Swiss avalanche

19 January 2021, 14:16

10 people were swept away in the avalanche in Verbier in the Swiss Alps
10 people were swept away in the avalanche in Verbier in the Swiss Alps. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

A British man has died after an avalanche at the popular alpine resort of Verbier.

The 38-year-old was among 10 people swept away from the slopes at the popular alpine resort east of Geneva after the avalanche on Monday morning.

Police said the 38-year-old, who has not been named and lived in Verbier, died at the scene.

An investigation has been launched.

It follows several days of heavy snowfall across Switzerland, which claimed the life of another skier who died after being buried alive by an avalanche while skiing in Gstaad.

A police spokesman said: "The avalanche occurred outside the piste between the Verbier ski area and 'Les Attelas'.

"At around 10.20am, a skier was driving down a corridor below the 'Attelas' area.

"A snowdrift came loose and carried the skier as well as another person who had been further down at the time."

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It follows several days of heavy snowfall across Switzerland, which claimed the life of another skier who died after being buried alive by an avalanche while skiing in Gstaad.

The number of deaths due to avalanches in the country is up to seven since last weekend.

Ski slopes in Switzerland can remain open during the pandemic as long as masks are worn.

On Monday, Swiss health officials quarantined two hotels and closed two ski schools in St Moritz due to a Covid-19 outbreak.

More than 200 British skiers left the Verbier resort in December after Switzerland imposed a coronavirus quarantine.