Up to 12 people buried in Swiss avalanche

Up to 12 people buried in Swiss avalanche

Several skiers were swept away by an avalanche that hit a ski slope in the Swiss mountain resort of Crans-Montana, the police said on Tuesday. However, a report by the Valais-based Le Nouvelliste newspaper said ten to 12 people had been buried in the avalanche at the bottom of the Kandahar slope at a spot known as "Passage du Major".

Valais state police confirmed on Twitter that an avalanche occurred at around 2.15pm, leaving "several people buried". Photos of the avalanche are now circulating on social media.

This video by Swiss public radio, RTS, shows the extent of the avalanche.

A rescue mission is under way after the avalanche was reported in Crans Montana this afternoon.

The ski resort's website showed the avalanche warning indicator was at the second of five possible levels, indicating a moderate risk.

The police force did not give further details on the number of people affected.

Philippe Magistretti, president of the ski lift company, told Reuters: "About 100 rescue workers are on the site".

Traffic is higher than normal at ski resorts across Switzerland this week because of mid-term school holidays.

The Reuters news agency said the Crans Montana resort was due to host races of the women's World Cup Alpine circuit in just a matter of days.



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