British soldier dies in Mont Blanc avalanche

27th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, July 26 (AFP) - One British soldier was killed and two others injured in an avalanche Tuesday on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Britain's Ministry of Defence and local authorities said.

LONDON, July 26 (AFP) - One British soldier was killed and two others injured in an avalanche Tuesday on Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Britain's Ministry of Defence and local authorities said.

Three other people caught up in the ice slide escaped without injury.

The accident happened at 3:15 pm (1315 GMT) on the 4,807-metre (15,800-foot) peak in a zone where blocks of ice hang in a crack in the slope.

Chunks of ice began to fall from a height of 3,900 metres onto a party of six climbers who were making their way down from the summit along a commonly used path, according to the local French authorities.

"A British serviceman has been killed in an accident while climbing on Mont Blanc," said a defence ministry spokesman in London.

"Two others received minor injuries. The soldiers were part of a group of six on an adventurous training expedition," he said.

The ice slide was almost 400 metres wide but not deep, and three of the party were able to avoid being buried.

Dogs, helicopters and rescue teams were used to search the site of the accident.

The defence ministry spokesman said no further details would be released about the dead man's identity until his family had been informed.

In a separate accident elsewhere on the mountain, a climber died in a fall on another traditional track used to reach the summit, local authorities said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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