The Latest: Prefect: Ski trail where avalanche hit was risky

AP News
Posted: Jan 13, 2016 3:36 PM

PARIS (AP) — The latest on the avalanche that has struck in the French Alps. All times local.

9:35 p.m.

The prefect of the Isere region has told BFM-TV that the ski trail where a deadly avalanche hit a school group was so risky it had been closed since the "beginning of the (ski) season" in December.

Jean-Paul Bonnetain said Wednesday evening that the group leader "had taken the initiative" to lead the school group onto this piste.

He said that the trail "was really of a technical level" that is not suitable for beginners or high schoolers aged between 16 and 17.


7:55 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande has sent his condolences to those close to the victims of a deadly avalanche that hit a school group in the Alps.

Hollande said in a statement Wednesday evening that the French education minister is on his way to Lyon, the home city of the affected high schoolers. He is expected to arrive in the coming hours to "support the school community and the families."

He said that mountain emergency services are still engaged in a rescue operation, and confirmed that three people have died so far and others are seriously injured.


7:15 p.m.

French authorities say an avalanche in the Alps has killed two French high school students and a Ukrainian skier in the Deux Alps ski resort.

Officials say the avalanche on Wednesday afternoon hit 10 students from the Saint Exupery school in Lyon and their teacher. They did not give any information on the number of missing but said 60 rescue workers have been mobilized in a search-and-rescue operation with sniffer dogs and a helicopter.


6:20 p.m.

A French police official says that an avalanche that struck a school group skiing in the Alps has killed at least one person and left three gravely injured.

Commander Bertrand Host told BFM television that there had been an avalanche warning in the area before the snow slide.

Police say a search and rescue squad is on the scene, searching with dogs and a helicopter.

The avalanche struck late Wednesday afternoon in the Deux Alpes region.


6:15 p.m.

An avalanche has struck a school group in the French Alps, and a mountain rescue squad has launched a search and rescue operation.

France's National Gendarmerie says the search and rescue operation was launched in the Deux Alpes region after the avalanche Wednesday afternoon.

Citing local police, the regional Dauphine Libere newspaper is reporting that four of the students were found in cardiac arrest and the teacher was unconscious. Venosc Mayor Pierre Balme told the paper the avalanche occurred on a closed ski run.