Snow death toll in Europe reaches 26

Daily Mail - - News - Mail For­eign Ser­vice

THE death toll hit 26 yes­ter­day as parts of Europe re­mained paral­ysed by the heav­i­est snow­falls in 30 years.

Two work­ers at a ski re­sort in the French Alps died when the ex­plo­sive charges used to con­trol avalanches ac­ci­den­tally went off. The in­ci­dent took place as the pair worked at an al­ti­tude of 6,000ft at the Mo­ril­lon ski re­sort, which is pop­u­lar with Bri­tons. Ear­lier, three Ger­man cross-coun­try skiers died fol­low­ing an avalanche in western Aus­tria. The bod­ies of two men aged 32 and 36 and a third aged 56 were found on Satur­day evening. A 28-year-old man is still miss­ing, po­lice said.

The group of four had been near Lech am Arl­berg us­ing tour­ing skis, which en­able users to climb slopes and ex­plore off­piste. It came after sev­eral days of heavy snow­fall in which the mil­i­tary has been called in to se­cure roads and build­ings and help evac­u­ate trapped res­i­dents.

A state of emer­gency was in force across parts of Europe last night after the worst snow­fall in at least 30 years.

Fa­tal­i­ties have in­cluded Bri­ton Jeff Martin, 65, who fell 32ft from a ski lift on Fri­day after col­laps­ing from a heart at­tack. Mr Martin, an ac­com­plished sailor from Fal­mouth in Corn­wall, was on hol­i­day in the French ski re­sort of Meri­bel.

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