British woman dies in avalanche in French Alps | World News

A British woman has died in an avalanche in the French Alps.

The 45-year-old was hiking with two others when the accident occurred on the Argentiere Glacier on Mont Blanc on Saturday.

French police said a specialist high mountain search and rescue unit in Chamonix was alerted to the incident by a guide around 5pm, and dispatched rescue workers and a doctor by helicopter.

Colonel Bertrand Host from the mountain rescue unit said that despite their efforts, they were unable to save the woman.

“When we reached there, we had to rescue the person but she was in a bad condition and we took her out of the valley,” he said. “He was taken charge by rescuers and two dogs but we were unable to revive him.”

The coroner in Chamonix has opened an inquest into the woman’s death and ordered an autopsy.

Colonel Host said deaths on the Mont Blanc massif are not uncommon, where about 80 people lose their lives every year.

The local public prosecutor’s office said the woman and her partner were with a high mountain guide and were heading up the Col du Tour Noir when the avalanche hit.

Read more:
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Mountaineer killed, one injured in avalanche on Ben Nevis

The office confirmed that the avalanche danger on Saturday was on a three-to-five scale.

“We are providing assistance to the family of a British woman who died in France,” said a Foreign Office spokesperson.

At 4,810m (15,781ft), Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe and attracts around 20,000 skiers and hikers each year.

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