Inbounds avalanche at Swiss resort claims the life of a ski patroller

244 volunteers searched for potential avalanche victims at the Swiss Resort Crans-Montana Tuesday afternoon. [Photo] Courtesy Police Cantonale Valaisanne

On Tuesday, February 19 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, four skiers were caught in an inbounds avalanche. All who were buried were recovered and transported to a hospital in nearby Sion, Switzerland where a nine-year ski patrol employee of the resort later died of his avalanche-related injuries.

The Telegraph reports that the slide occurred at around 2:15 p.m., the cause of which is still unknown. The avalanche extended 300 feet wide and around 2,755 feet long, 1,312 feet of the slide extending inbounds where two ski patrollers caught in the slide were already helping an injured party.

All four victims were rescued rapidly, The Telegraph explained, but 244 individuals including health workers, army members and ski patrol subsequently searched for other possible victims.

The avalanche rating for that day— a forecast issued by Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research based in Davos—was a two out of five on the European avalanche danger rating scale after multiple days of sun and warm temps, and the current rating, despite the accident at Crans-Montana, continues to be relatively low.

On Wednesday, the Valais police called off the search for other potential victims of the slide, but no statement has yet been released about the results of the investigation into the cause of the avalanche.

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