SEVEN climbers, whose nationalities have yet to be confirmed, have been killed by an avalanche in the French Alps, French news site Le Figaro has reported.
The avalanche, one of the worst in a decade, hit the Snow Dome in the Massif des Ecrins, an easy, popular mountain for climbers, around midday on Tuesday (September 15), sweeping away eight people, reportedly including foreigners.
While search and rescue teams, helicopters and search dogs continued combing the mountain in search of other possible victims, Prefect of the Hautes-Alpes region Pierre Besnard reported that three groups of roped climbers had been caught by the avalanche in winter-like conditions, leading to the deadliest accident in the Alps so far this year.
Avalanches are sporadic events in the popular mountains, especially during the winter. In January, six skiers were swept away by a snow-slide in the Queyras range, and little more than two months later three were killed in the Ecrins.