Disaster in Switzerland: two climbers killed by ice columns

In the canton of Valais, two mountaineers are hit by falling parts of a glacier.

Disaster in Switzerland: two climbers killed by ice columns

In the canton of Valais, two mountaineers are hit by falling parts of a glacier. A 40-year-old and a 65-year-old died in the accident at an altitude of around 3400 meters.

Two mountaineers were killed by falling chunks of ice in the canton of Valais in southern Switzerland. The dead were a 40-year-old French woman and a 65-year-old Spaniard, police said. Nine other people were injured in the ice fall, two of them seriously. The injured and other climbers were taken away from the scene of the accident by helicopter.

The cantonal police had been informed early in the morning that the alpinists on the Grand Combin massif had been hit by falling seracs - glacial ice columns that are deposited at the intersection of crevasses. According to the information, 17 climbers were staying there at the time of the accident. Several helicopters and dozens of rescuers were deployed.

According to the police, the public prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the incident. The icefall occurred at an altitude of around 3400 meters in the "Plateau du Déjeuner" area on the "Voie du Gardien" ascent route. With a height of up to 4314 meters, the Grand Combin is one of the highest massifs in the Alps.

After the accident, the police pointed out that mountaineers should be more careful as soon as the zero-degree limit is around 4,000 meters - and that in this case even planned excursions should be avoided.

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