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Avalanche in Tignes
Wednesday December 5, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

Two people were caught on Wednesday just to the side of a marked run. They were both rescued in a huge search operation. One is seriously injured while the other is recovering at home. They were not wearing transceivers and some reports say they were on a ski instructors training course.

The accident happened late morning under the Aeroski lift that goes from Tignes Le Lac on the north face of the Tovier sector.

The risk of avalanche was 4 on a scale of 5 and people had been warned to be extra careful.

The identities of the victims have not been released but it is understood they are in their 20s and the person seriously injured is female.

We have been informed by the authorities that both the people involved are French.

Other news web sites are reporting the injured person has died but we can not confirm this. We believe she was buried under the snow for up to 30 minutes and was resusitated at the scene.

She remains critically ill.

At one point it was feared a third person was buried but it appears that person was not caught in the slide.

"Two persons were caught in an avalanche this morning at 11:29 am. The first one had been found quickly, just unconscious, and is now well and at home. The second one is most seriously injured and is actually on her way to the hospital of Grenoble. The ski patrols from Tignes and Val d'Isère and the skiing instructors from Tignes were all on the spot to find them as fast as they can but the victims were not equipped with detectors," said a statement we were sent by the tourist office on Wednesday.

Neither of the people involved was wearing a transceiver or had other safety equipment.

The victims were with the French holiday company, UCPA. Some early reports suggested they were with an ESF instructor but this was not the case.

Serious questions are now being raised about the group involved - how it was led and organised.

The ski patrol, local ESF ski instructors and passers-by helped in the search operation. Rescue teams were called over from neighbouring Val d'Isere.

Helicopters were unable to fly due to poor visibility and strong winds.

It is not clear for how long or how deep the injured person was buried.

The resort has seen over a metre of snow in the past few days accompanied by high winds. Many slopes in the area have been closed due to the danger of avalanches.

They were reported to be in an area that had been closed by the authorities but this has not been confirmed.

The image below is of the search operation and comes from Jojo O'Brien, a ski instructor colleague of the PlanetSKI content editor.












A full investigation is being carried out.

We will bring you further news as we get it here at PlanetSKI.

Meanwhile restrictions on drivers and pedestrians were put in place on Wednesday night as the resort set off avalanches to bring down dangerous amounts of snow.

The road between Tignes le Lac and Tignes 1800 was closed on Wednesday night between 8 pm and 10:30 pm.

The roads were also closed for pedestrians between Tignes le Lac and Tignes Val Claret, Tignes le Lac and Tignes 1800, as well as the road leading to Villaret du Nial.

Caution is urgedCaution is urged













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