Swiss rescuers rush to find avalanche victims

26th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Rescuers in the Swiss Alps on Saturday found six of seven skiers missing after they were swept away by an avalanche, police in southwestern Switzerland said.

There was no immediate word on their condition.

They were part of a group of 11 high-altitude ski hikers caught in an avalanche near Bourg-St-Pierre, said Jean-Marie Bornet, a spokesman for police in the Swiss canton of Valais.

One person managed to escape the snowslide and raise the alarm, while six others were found by rescue teams with tracker dogs that were rushed to the spot above the Toules dam by helicopters.

"We still have one missing," Bornet told AFP.

"There were 11. It's always a race against time."

"Based on the first elements, they were French," he added.

Bornet said the party was believed to be well equipped with avalanche detection devices and they were accompanied by mountain guides.

© 2011 AFP

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