British snowboarder suffocates in snow in French Alps

British snowboarder suffocates in snow in French Alps

(BBC) – A British snowboarder has suffocated after falling into a snow-drift in the French Alps, authorities there say.

The 25-year-old man, who has not been named, was discovered buried head-first in an off-piste area near the Meribel ski resort in France on Wednesday.

He was uncovered after two skiers alerted emergency services to a snowboard sticking out of the snow about 20 metres (66ft) from the piste.

The Foreign Office said it was giving support to the dead man’s family.

Foreign Office staff are also in contact with police in the UK and France, as well as a tour operator, about the incident, a spokesman said.

French rescuers said the man, who was a seasonal worker at the resort in south-eastern France, had suffered cardiac arrest when he was found.

An Alps Mountain Rescue spokesman said the man could have been buried for up to half an hour, adding: “He was buried up to his pelvis and the snow was very heavy, very compacted.”

The incident follows the death of a British skier in an off-piste area of the Alpe d’Huez, who fell from a cliff near the French Alps resort in February.

Last January, British skiers Oscar Cassagneau-Francis and Rajen Mahendra, both 26, died after falling hundreds of metres in an off-piste area of the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc region.

French authorities are investigating the incident and an inquest has been opened in the nearby town of Albertville.


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