Two children killed as rock crushes chalet in Alps

Boys were asleep when tragedy occurred in ski resort of Isola

The chalet at Isola in southeastern France where two children died after a rock slide. Photograph: AP Photo

The chalet at Isola in southeastern France where two children died after a rock slide. Photograph: AP Photo

 


Two children died when their mountain chalet was crushed by an enormous rock near the Alpine ski resort of Isola 2000 early yesterday morning.

The boys, aged seven and 10, were asleep in the building with five adults when the tragedy happened at about 5am.

The massive block of rock, measuring 10m by 5m, smashed into a nearby road before plunging down on to the three-storey chalet at the edge of the village of Isola in southeastern France, where two families were staying.

Jean-Marie Bogini, the local mayor, said about 60 paramedics and mountain rescuers with sniffer dogs attended the scene. Three adults pulled themselves out of the collapsed building. Two others were rescued and taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The bodies of the two children, from different families, were discovered two hours later in the chalet ruins.

It is the second week of the French winter school holidays, the busiest time of the year for the Alpine resorts.

Commander Gael Marchand said the rock could have fallen because the rock face had been weakened by recent rains and milder weather.