Investigation as 2 Students Caught in Swiss Avalanche – 1 Dead & 1 Missing
26th March 2023
An 18-year old British person died and an American student is missing presumed dead. Considerable risk of avalanche remains in large parts of the Swiss Alps. UPDATED
The accident happened last week in Meiringen as a group of seven from the Ecole d’Humanité school in Hasliberg in the canton of Bern was on a ski tour.
The two students, a mountain guide, a youth and sports leader and three other people were in the group.
All were equipped with avalanche transceivers, probes and shovels.
The school said in a statement that the ‘very experienced group’ had taken the necessary precautions for a ski tour and had taken the avalanche bulletin into account.
It was at Level 2 at the time, meaning there was ‘moderate’ danger.
The accident happened at 2,308m on a north facing slope.
The body of the British student was found, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Despite extensive searches the body of the American has not been located and it is thought it will not be found until the snow melts in the spring.
Next of kin have been informed.
Teams from Rega, the Swiss Alpine Rescue, several helicopters from Rega, Air-Glaciers and Swiss Helicopter, mountain specialists and additional staff from the Bernese Cantonal Police as well as the Care Team of the Canton of Berne were deployed.
The Oberland Regional Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident.
“We regret this terrible accident and are deeply saddened,” said the school in a statement.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to all students, their families and relatives.”
It brings the total number of people that have died in avalanches in Switzerland to 15.
Five people died earlier this month with four caught in the area around Verbier in a five day period.
The risk on Sunday 26th March was ‘considerable’ in parts of Switzerland.
“As a consequence of new snow and wind a considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area,” said the Swiss Institute for Avalanche Research, SLF.
By Monday 27th more snow had fallen and the risk has gone up.
Snow is falling across parts of the Alps and in the north-western part of the Alps in France data.avalanche.org warns of “significant precipitation”.
The organisation reports nine avalanches in the past ten days.
Here on PlanetSKI we will be posting a full snow report on conditions in the Alps shortly, so do look out for that.