The snow masses settled on a ski slope. Search teams and rescue workers are in action, said the cantonal police Valais on Tuesday.
In the Swiss Alps near the winter sports resort of Crans Montana an avalanche in a ski resort has gone off. According to the police, several people were spilled on Tuesday afternoon at 2:15 pm.
Four were rescued injured, reported the police chief of operations, Christian Varone. One of the four people was seriously injured.
It can not be ruled out that further persons were spilled by the snow masses. The mayor of the village, Nicolas Féraud, had spoken in the afternoon to journalists of possibly ten to twelve missing persons. The search for more victims continued in the evening.
Crans Montana, a popular ski resort, is located near the glacier Plaine Morte in the canton of Valais. Good weather prevailed at the time of the accident. The avalanche broke off on the so-called Kandahar runway. It is the highest slope of the ski area at about 2500 meters altitude. The snow masses slid down the slope for several hundred meters.
Around 240 rescue workers were deployed at the accident site, including by the Swiss Army. Also with several avalanche dogs was searched until the evening for possibly buried people. The lift between the village and the station Les Violettes was closed for the ski business and only in operation to bring rescuers to the top.
According to the official avalanche bulletin valid for this region, on Tuesday there was only danger level two out of five. An avalanche on a designated ski slope is extremely rare. According to Thomas Stucki, head of the avalanche warning service at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) of a Swiss news agency, Switzerland has known only one such casualty accident in the past ten years.