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Mont Blanc avalanche kills 6, injures 8
An avalanche in the Mont Blanc mountain range in France Thursday killed six climbers and injured eight others with two people still missing, officials said.
The hiking party of 28 people from France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany and Serbia was overwhelmed by the snow slide on Mount Maudit, which translates as “cursed peak,” British newspaper The Guardian reported.
A rescue helicopter evacuated the injured climbers, and police and search dogs continued to look for the two missing people, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.
A spokesperson for the Alpine high mountain gendarme platoon said the avalanche was likely caused by the snow collapsing under the July heat as the sun rose around 5 a.m.
“We were initially alerted just after dawn by one of the survivors who called us on a mobile phone,” a spokesman said.
Chamonix Mayor Eric Fournier said it was the “deadliest snow slide in recent years.”
“There were no weather reports forecasting an avalanche risk,” he added.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International