One person dies following avalanche in Swiss ski resort

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By Alice Cuddy  with Reuters
One person dies following avalanche in Swiss ski resort
Copyright  Laure Lugon Zugravu/Le Temps

An avalanche hit the popular Swiss ski resort of Crans-Montana on Tuesday, killing one person and injuring several more.

Valais state police confirmed on Twitter that an avalanche occurred at around 2.15pm CET, leaving “several people buried”.

The person killed was reported to be a French ski patroller, according to Swiss police.

"Rescuers arrived very quickly, they rescued four injured people including one whose life is in danger, and three were injured more superficially," Valais state police commander Christian Varone told a news conference.

Around 240 police and rescue workers, and eight helicopters, were deployed for a subsequent search operation for others believed to be trapped under the snow.

The search was called off early on Wednesday morning after no more people were found, and no further disappearances were reported.

The avalanche came as warm temperatures over the past week began melting heavy snow in the region.

It coincided with the school holidays in some of Switzerland's cantons and other countries in Europe.

Philippe Magistretti, president of the resort's ski lift company, told Reuters around 8,000 skiers were on the slopes on Tuesday.