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Hautes-Pyrénées: three skiers killed by an avalanche

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – DENIS CHARLET – | Three skiers were killed by an avalanche in the Hautes-Pyrénées

Three skiers reported missing since Wednesday afternoon at the station of Cauterets (Hautes-Pyrénées) were found dead Thursday under an avalanche, we learned from the prefecture.

“It’s an avalanche, yesterday (Wednesday), on an off-piste area of ​​the ski area that is causing the accident,” said the prefecture in a statement.

The researches initiated Thursday morning on the station of Cauterets by the CRS and the gendarmes of high mountain allowed to find the three victims between 10:00 and 11:00, specified the prefecture to the AFP.

The three men, aged 38 for two of them and 29 for the third, are from Bordeaux and Poitiers.

Triggered late Wednesday afternoon, under the direction of the sub-prefect of Argelès, then suspended for the night, the research mobilized a helicopter, three dog teams and fifteen rescuers from the CRS and the PGHM (platoon of gendarmerie of high mountains) of Hautes-Pyrénées.

Ⓒ AFP – Simon MALFATTO – | Pyrenees: deadly avalanche

The families of the three men went to the scene on Thursday morning. A medico-psychological unit was activated to support them, according to the prefecture.

Also in Hautes-Pyrénées, a 19 year old skier died on Tuesday, buried in an avalanche in the station of Gavarnie, according to the direction of the station.

The body of the young man, “native of the Landes”, had been found on the edge of a red track. “It’s hard to say if he was practicing off-piste,” Christophe Fabre, director of the station, told AFP.

It was an “avalanche 3 meters high on its high part and 20 to 25 meters wide,” he added.

In early January, a skier was killed by a snowfall in the same department, on the slopes of the Pique Poque mountain at 1,600 m altitude. In this area away from the slopes, two hikers were returning to their vehicles, when a snowfall had buried the one who was skiing far in front of his comrade.

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