Police Pursue Two Cross-Country Skiers Over Fatal Incident, Mother and Son Killed

Avalanche Tragedy Claims Lives

Authorities are investigating a heart-wrenching incident where an avalanche took the lives of a 54-year-old woman and her 22-year-old son.

The tragedy occurred in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains while the family was skiing off-piste, sweeping through the group and leaving the victims buried under 400 meters of snow.

Cross-Country Skiers Suspected

Investigators are focusing on two cross-country skiers, allegedly upslope, as potential causes of the avalanche.

The local prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into possible manslaughter charges, with inquiries revolving around the knowledge of the area and the prevailing ‘moderate’ avalanche risk during the incident.

Details Unveil Tragic Scenario

The group involved, including the professional ski instructor and other experienced skiers, was well-acquainted with the ski area.

While an avalanche expert’s report is awaited, efforts to identify the cross-country skiers and gather witness statements are underway to determine the cause definitively.

Rescue Efforts and Aftermath

Despite the intense rescue operation involving 30 responders, helicopters, dogs, and medical teams, it took up to five hours to locate the deceased victims.

Five members of the party escaped unharmed, with the husband among those witnessing the tragedy unfold, rendering them unable to help the buried victims.

Safety Recommendations and the Aftermath

While ski victim detectors aren’t mandatory off-piste, their use is advised, considering the unpredictable nature of snow conditions.

The mayor expressed condolences, highlighting the sorrow and tragedy faced by Saint-Gervais due to the devastating loss. Autopsies on the victims are scheduled, shedding light on the incident.

Parallel Fatalities in the Alpine Region

Another tragic incident on the same day saw a 31-year-old man fatally fall from a rocky ridge in Chantepérier, emphasizing the risks and dangers prevalent in alpine environments.

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