Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

6 dead after snowstorm hits Alpine hikers in Switzerland

6 dead after snowstorm hits Alpine hikers in Switzerland

This undated picture shows Pigne d'Arolla mountain near Arolla, Switzerland, where six hikers have died after becoming trapped overnight by an unexpected storm of snow and high winds.

Four skiers have died and five were in a critical condition in hospital last night with hypothermia after being stranded overnight by a storm in the Swiss Alps.

The manager of a cabin in Vignettes sent out a distress call early on Monday morning after they failed to arrive, and seven helicopters were dispatched as part of a search operation.

The emergency services had to struggle through hard weather conditions to get to the stranded mountaineers and the skiing party, using seven helicopters to reach them.

The other members of the group escaped with mild hypothermia and are not said to be in critical condition, with an investigation now launched into the tragedy. They planned to follow the Serpentine classic route to the Vignettes mountain cabin where they meant to spend the night.

The dead include two Italian couples and their Italian guide, a 59-year-old who died in a fall, as well as a Bulgarian woman who died in hospital on Tuesday, police said in a statement.

The fatal accidents were the latest in a series affecting skiers in Switzerland in recent weeks.

Haub had reportedly set off from a lift at the Klein Matterhorn. In a separate incident, three Spanish cross-country skiers were killed by a March 31 avalanche, according to AFP.

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