British teenager killed by avalanche on ski tour in Switzerland
A british teenager has died after being hit by an avalanche while on a ski tour in Switzerland.
The 18-year-old was killed on Tuesday after an avalanche struck in Meiringen resort, in the canton of Bern at around 4.25pm. The teenager was originally from England but had been living in Bern.
Authorities are currently searching for a second person caught up in the avalanche. Their age and gender are unknown.
Mountain rescue teams and a helicopter were deployed to help survivors, and emergency services could only recover one body.
Rega crews, Swiss Alpine Rescue, several Rega, Air-Glaciers and Swiss Helicopter helicopters, mountain specialists, Bern canton police and the Canton of Bern Care Team were deployed.
The avalanche occured at the Gstelliwang ski slope on the Wellhorn mountain in the Bernese Alps.
Police said the 18-year-old was part of a larger ski tour group. Two of the group drove down the Gstelliwang as an avalanche broke off and buried them both underneath, according to the cantonal police in Bern.
The search for the second person was paused at around 7.30pm local time on Tuesday, but was resumed in Wednesday morning.
Earlier this month several avalanches were reported in Bern, burying several and killing at least one person, according to Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten.
One of the three avalanches occured in Meiringen and buried three people who were on a ski tour. All three skiers were recovered and survived.
Cantonal police warned at the time there was a high risk of avalanches in the mountains and appealed to skiers to consult weather reports on the snow and avalanche risk situation before hitting the slopes.
A British woman was killed in an avalanche while walking in the French Alps in January.
The woman, who was reported to be 45-years-old, was airlifted off Mont Blanc’s Argentiere Glacier by mountain rescuers but died of her injuries.
Colonel Bertrand Host, of the mountain rescue gendarmerie in Chamonix, said around 80 people die on the Mont Blanc massif each year.
One month later, a British man died after a high-speed accident while skiing off-piste in the French Alps.
The 50-year-old man suffered severe injuries and a cardiac arrest following the incident in the alpine resort of Meribel.
He died after falling several dozen meters in the Saulire sector of the three valleys ski area in Meribel, where the Ski World Championships are taking place.