French Alps avalanche: Six dead and nine injured

File pictures from Tignes
File pictures from Tignes Copyright Luca Bruno/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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An avalanche in the French Alps killed at least six people on Sunday after a snowfall near the Armancette glacier.

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An avalanche in the French Alps has killed six people and injured nine others. The death toll increased on Monday after authorities announced they were still searching for a missing person. 

The avalanche rolled down the Armancette glacier in Contamines-Montjoie, in the Haute-Savoie region, some 30 kilometres southwest of Chamonix on Sunday before noon. Its cause is still being investigated by authorities. 

Easter weekend holiday spot

The local France-Bleu radio station put the size of the avalanche at 1,000 metres long and 100 metres wide. Two helicopters were sent in to help in the search, the station said, quoting the local prefecture in Thonon.

President Emmanuel Macron said his thoughts were with the victims.

"To find people still blocked under the snow, the emergency services have been mobilised," he said.

At the Armancette glacier in the Alps, an avalanche caused casualties. We are thinking of them and their families. To find people still stuck in the snow, our rescue forces are mobilised. Our thoughts accompany them, too.

Previous deadly avalanches

The avalanche is one of the most serious to have occurred in France in recent years. Since 2018 there have been three avalanches that have caused the death of at least four people.

2021:

May 8: seven people die in two avalanches in the Alps, the first in Valloire (Savoie), in the Galibier pass area, and the second in the Vanoise massif, on the other side of the department.

May 3: five people lose their lives in two separate avalanches, three are swept away in the Ecrins massif (Hautes-Alpes) and two others in the Ailefroide sector (Isère).

2018:

March 2: Four French ski tourers are killed and a fifth injured by an avalanche in Entraunes (Alpes-Maritimes) while their guide is found safe and sound. The group was on the edge of the Mercantour national park, far from any ski area.

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