British teenager killed in avalanche while skiing in Switzerland

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Police say the 18-year-old was part of a larger ski tour group

An 18-year-old British man has been swept to his death in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps.

Search teams are currently looking for a second person who remains buried in the snow after the incident on Tuesday (22 March) in the resort area of Meiringen.

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Police in Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland area received a report shortly before 4.25pm on Tuesday that an avalanche had occurred which left two skiers buried under the snow. Officers say according to initial investigations, the two skiers were part of a larger ski tour group.

They suggested that the avalanche was triggered when the two went down the Gstelliwang slope on the Wellhorn mountain, which has a height of more than 2,100m.

A British teenager has died in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland (Photo: Adobe)A British teenager has died in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland (Photo: Adobe)
A British teenager has died in an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland (Photo: Adobe) | schame87 - stock.adobe.com

Swiss Alpine Rescue and several helicopters were immediately deployed, and recovered the body of the British teenager, who is known to have been living in Bern.

The search for the second skier is ongoing and authorities have not yet confirmed whether the individual is also a British national or confirmed their age or gender.

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Air rescue teams and Swiss Alpine Rescue are now involved in the search, as well as mountain specialists and the local police force.

A police spokeswoman said: “The avalanche was set off when two of the skiers went down. They were both buried. The emergency services, which were deployed immediately, could only recover a buried man who was dead.

“The search for the second person had to be interrupted around 7:30pm. It was resumed in the morning of Wednesday. But the emergency search was then stopped around lunchtime. There have been no sightings of the skier or any ski equipment.

“The rescuers have done everything they were able to do. Resources have been exhausted. We have tried everything that we could. It is quite a big area to search. The avalanche was 800m long.

“The deceased is an 18-year-old Englishman living in the canton of Bern. His family has been informed.”

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