Three people die in avalanches in Swiss Alps

ZURICH, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Three people have died in separate avalanche accidents in the Swiss Alps, police said on Monday.

A man who was skiing close to the 2,844-metre high Hofathorn, in the southern canton of Wallis, died after being carried away by an avalanche on Monday morning.

The 39-year-old from the Wallis region was quickly found and recovered by his friends but was confirmed dead at the scene by emergency services.

Police in Graubunden, in the east of Switzerland, said a tourist who went missing on Saturday had also been found dead.

The 31-year-old Frenchman had tried to climb the Glattwang mountain alone on Saturday afternoon after skiing with his girlfriend.

When he did not return, a search was launched and the man’s body was found in a ravine on Sunday morning. Police said he had triggered an avalanche on his descent which carried him more than a kilometre over rocky terrain.

Separately, one of three walkers buried by a snow drift in Wallis on Saturday has died, Swiss broadcaster SRF reported, quoting the police.

The group was hiking at a height of 2,700 metres in the St Luc region when the accident happened. One of them managed to get free and make an emergency call which allowed the others to be rescued.

All three were flown to hospital, where one, a 29-year-old woman from the Swiss canton of Vaud, died of her injuries on Sunday evening, SRF said.

(Reporting by John Revill, editing by Ed Osmond)

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