Avalanche Causes 3 Deaths Near Swiss Resort

Avalanche Causes 3 Deaths Near Swiss Resort

(USNewsBreak.com) – Many people travel to the mountains to partake in winter sports, such as skiing or snowboarding. However, those activities aren’t without risks. An avalanche killed three people recently at a Swiss resort and critically injured another.

In a statement on April 2, the Valais canton state police revealed that they pulled four people from the snow after an avalanche occurred near Zermatt the day prior, burying them alive. The incident happened around 2 p.m. on the ski slopes of Riffelberg. Sadly, the incident killed three of those four, including a 15-year-old American teen. Authorities had not released the identities of the other two deceased, a man and a woman, at the time of writing. Rescuers airlifted a fourth victim, a 20-year-old Swiss male, to the hospital with serious injuries.

Authorities suspended the search the same day, and the public prosecutor’s office was investigating the tragedy. Authorities had posted warnings of a potential increased avalanche hazard before it occurred, including in the Zermatt region where the skiers died.

Avalanches in this region are relatively common. Winter sports enthusiasts flock to the popular skiing resort, situated near the famed and sought-after Matterhorn Peak. In March, five members of a family went missing during inclement weather. Searchers later found them dead. Authorities still haven’t located a sixth person who went missing.

Officials advise skiers and snowboarders to check for alerts before hitting the slopes and avoid venturing out in inclement weather or high winds, which can increase risks. A bulletin for April 1 showed the Zermatt area marked in red, the highest level of potential avalanche danger.

If an avalanche occurs while you’re on the mountain, do your best to get to the outskirts of the flow. If snow buries you, try to use your equipment to propel you to the top of the snow. Your survival may also depend on creating an air pocket. Try to clear the snow from around your face to give yourself breathing room.

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