Avalanche kills three skiers in Spain
Avalanche buries three skiers in first slope fatalities since 2005.
7 January 2008
MADRID - Rescue workers recovered the bodies of three skiers on Friday after they were buried by an avalanche near the resort of Formigal in the Aragonese Pyrenees.
With the help of helicopters and sniffer dogs, the police rescue team found the skiers in an off-piste area.
"After being buried by the avalanche, two people died during attempts to revive them," said the government's representative in Aragón. The ski centre said that a warning had been issued earlier in the day after heavy snowfall. "It wasn't a good day for them to venture off the slope," said Paco Bono, one of the managers of the resort, which is operated by the Aramón group. He asked for skiers to exercise caution in the current conditions.
The victims were identified as Daniel Osambela Echeverría, aged 36, Iñigo Enrique Zurita, aged 37, both from San Sebastián, and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, 33. Rodríguez, who worked at the resort, carried a sonar device that enables rescuers to detect skiers buried in snow.
Formigal has the largest slopes in Spain, with one measuring 130 kilometres. The last fatality on Spanish a ski slope occurred on 27 December 2005, when a skier fell at Candanchú. Two days later, a skier from Madrid perished when he fell from a lift in the Pyrenees resort of Lizara.
[Copyright El Pais 2008]
Subject: Spanish news