Avalanche hits busy ski resort in French Alps

Rescue operation stood down after ‘many skiers’ caught up in incident at Tignes

The Lavachet Wall at the Tignes ski resort, French Alps. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP/File photo

The Lavachet Wall at the Tignes ski resort, French Alps. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP/File photo

 

There were no fatalities after an avalanche struck the Tignes ski resort in the Alps, French authorities have confirmed, and a search and rescue operation is now over.

The avalanche struck at 9.50am local time (8.50am Irish time) on the La Carline ski slope, prompting the resort to shut down.

Many skiers were swept away by the avalanche on Tuesday, first aid workers told Reuters.

“Several skiers have been shaken up and taken care of by resort personnel. Emergency staff were deployed immediately. After the search operations, there are no victims to report,” a statement from the resort said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the avalanche and the Irish Embassy in Paris is monitoring the situation.

It said anyone affected by the avalanche and who requires consular assistance or has any concerns should call the embassy on 01441 - 76700.

The vast Tignes ski area was entirely closed and skiers were evacuated by resort staff and police.

Rescue conditions were difficult because of fog which made it impossible for emergency workers from outside the resort to get there by helicopter. They had to come by road instead.

The avalanche risk was high on Tuesday at four on a scale of five.

Four people were killed in an avalanche at Tignes on February 13th, local authorities said.

PA/Reuters