Teenager among three dead after avalanche hits Swiss ski resort

2 April 2024, 12:17

Three people died in the avalanche
Three people died in the avalanche. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

At least three people have died after an avalanche hit a popular Swiss ski resort.

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Three bodies were found including that of a 15-year-old after the avalanche in Zermatt in the southern canton of Valais on Easter Monday.

A fourth person with injuries was flown to a nearby hospital.

Valais police said on Twitter that “several people were swept away” in the avalanche at about 2pm on Easter Monday.

"The deceased include a 15-year-old American, a man and a woman, whose identification has not yet been completed," Valais police confirmed.

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"In the case of the female victim, we do not yet have any clues as to the identity."

The injured victim is a 20-year-old Swiss man, police added.

The skiers were in an area prone to deep snow outside of the marked ski slopes when they were swept away.

One witness told local news outlet Blick: “It looked to me as if there were several people on the slope at the time of the avalanche.”

Anjan Truffer, head of rescue at Air Zermatt, said: “At the moment, thank God, we have no further signs of people who could be buried.”

Truffer added that there was no risk to anyone on the slopes themselves.

“The slopes are 100 per cent secured. There is no safety risk for people who only spend time on the slopes,” they said.

Last month, five members of a Swiss family were found dead after going missing while cross-country skiing near the Matterhorn in difficult weather conditions. Authorities abandoned the search for a sixth missing person days later.

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