French police are reporting an avalanche on a piste in Bellecombe Deux-Alpes trail in Isère in the French Alps reportedly engulfed 10 secondary school pupils from Lyon and their teacher at 4pm local time today.
Regional French newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré has reported that two of the pupils from high school Saint-Exupéry were killed in the avalanche, two others suffered cardiac arrest and their teacher is “seriously injured”.
— France Bleu Isère (@bleu_isere) January 13, 2016
A mountain rescue team of 30 with dogs and helicopters has been dispatched to the affected area but five of the school group’s children, who were skiing when they were swept away by the avalanche, remain unaccounted for among hundreds of tons of snow and debris.
Sky News is reporting the local mayor confirming the slope, believed to be graded ‘black’ (steepest) in normal conditions, had been closed to skiing at the time of the incident. Local authorities had warned people to be aware of a high avalanche risk in the area after mild Christmas weather created an unstable base for recent snowfall.
More to follow.