16:47 14 February 2017
A French father, his two teenage sons and their guide died after being engulfed by an avalanche in the French alps. The group was snowboarding just a few dozen yards from a ski lift when a cascade of snow and ice measuring 400 metres wide hit them. Experts said a strong wind and warmer temperature had made an avalanche more likely.
Local media reports said that two of the victims were pulled alive from the snow but died later.
Around 40 rescuers with snow ploughs and sniffer dogs were immediately sent following the incident.
Fiona Best, PR manager at the Ski Club of Great Britain, said that the Lavachet Wall, where the avalanche occurred, was “known to be a treacherous area to go to and with an avalanche warning of three out of five you would question whether or not you should really be heading over there.'
Vicky Allen, a chalet rep, said: 'There is a huge search effort still out - it's a very sad day for all of us working in the resort. It's devastating.'
Richard Miller, an IT consultant from Cambridge, said: 'I saw the piste patrol scrambling with dogs so suspected something was happening.
'Some of the lifts were closed this afternoon after staff were diverted to the search.'
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