By Leslie Hittmeier
Five soldiers were killed in an avalanche that buried 11 Monday in the French Alps. The avalanche ripped while 50 soldiers were onthe slope, taking part in a training exercise in a backcountry area in Valfréjus, France.
According to local news sources, six more were injured. Four of them were treated at the scene and two had to be airlifted to the hospital for severe hypothermia.
ANENA (French Avalanche Research Institute) reported a high risk of deep slab avalanches in the area and recent wind events have added a degree of spatial variability to a snowpack that is exhibiting persistent weak layers. According to TGR, this slide was a deep slab avalanche around 100 meters wide on a northeast-facing slope.
This accident occurred just four days after a Ukrainian tourist and two teenage students were buried and killed on a closed run at LesDeux Alps Resort in eastern France.
According to thelocal.fr, twelve people have died in avalanches in the French Alps in January.