Investigation Underway as 3 Trainee Mountain Guides Die in Italy Avalanche

They were in the Grand Paradiso area in the Aosta Valley when the accident happened. They were training with The National Alpine Rescue Corps. UPDATED

The three students were in training in Val di Rhemes on Thursday when the avalanche hit.

The teacher-guide, a 49-year-old from the Aosta Valley, also was caught in the avalanche but survived and raised the alarm.

The search was suspended on Thursday due to poor weather.

Rescue helicopters and rescue teams on the French and Italian sides were unable to get to the scene of the accident.

The bodies of the deceased were recovered on Friday when the weather eased.

Amongst the deceased is 39-year-old ski mountaineering champion, Lorenzo Holzknecht.

He has won several European and World Championship titles in mountaineering and has competed all over the world.

The International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF) has posted an obituary.

The other two people who died have been named as 44-year-old Sandro Dublanc, an Italian snowboarding instructor, and 37-year-old Elia Meta.

The Level risk at the time was 3 – meaning there was “considerable” risk of avalanche.

The avalanche bulletin said that:”The cold fresh snow as well as accumulations formed with strong winds at times remain unstable in the high mountains.

“Avalanches can be triggered in the surface layers of the snowpack after the passage of a single winter sports enthusiast.

“Be careful in areas near ridges, in hollows and gullies and on steep slopes”.

An investigation is underway.

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