BRITS AMONG 9 DEAD IN ALPS.Byline: Lucinda Cameron
THREE Britons were among nine climbers killed in a "catastrophic" alpine avalanche, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the French authorities.
A major rescue operation was launched following the disaster on Mont Maudit Mont Maudit (4,465 m) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in France and Italy. Until the end of the 18th century, Mont Blanc and its satellite peaks were collectively known in French as the Montagne Maudite. , in the Mont Blanc range, near Chamonix.
The Prefecture de la Haute-Savoie said that three Britons, two Spaniards, three Germans and one Swiss person also died while four people, whose nationalities are not known, are missing. The Foreign Office said that five Britons were missing but could not confirm the British deaths or whether they were among the five.
Several dozen gendarmes and other rescuers along with two helicopters worked to pull the dead and injured from the mountain.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls visited the area and flew over the avalanche site. Speaking at a press conference afterwards, he said: "We are still searching for those who have disappeared.
"My thoughts are with those victims, with the British and Spanish and German victims, Swiss victims, and my thoughts are with their families who have discovered this painful tragedy. It is a personal one.
"We have seen many accidents on the Mont Blanc mountain but we should note that the number of victims and those who have disappeared and the injured is very high. It is catastrophic."
A spokeswoman for the prefecture said the local gendarmerie gen·dar·me·rie
1. A body of French gendarmes.
2. Slang A group of police officers.
[French, from Old French, calvary, from gent d'armes, gendarme, were alerted at 5.25am that two groups of climbers were in trouble on the northern face of Mont Maudit at 4,000m. She said that at 5.45am the emergency services emergency services Emergency care '…services …necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health and, because of the danger to life or health, require the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish those services' were told it was a "slab" avalanche which had hit several groups of mountaineers who were roped together.
The spokeswoman said nine people were taken to hospital in Sallanches with minor injuries and a chapel had been established in the hospital in Chamonix to help families involved in the tragedy.
A total of 28 people left a climbing hut to attempt the route.