Danes killed in French avalanche

Friends alerted police when the pair failed to return home

Two Danish men lost their lives in the French Alps after they were buried in a avalanche while skiing on the Col de Cluy Mountain in the d'Auris-en-Oisans area on Sunday.

The two men, who were brothers in their 40’s, were backcountry skiing when the avalanche surprised them, burying them in snow at depths of up to eight metres.

“We can confirm that two Danish citizens have died in the area and their loved ones have been notified,” a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry told TV2 News. 

The brothers had arrived at the l'Alpe-d'Huez ski sports area the day before with two others Danes who alerted the police to the situation when the brothers failed to return Sunday evening.

READ MORE: Danes survive French avalanche

Police still investigating
Around 30 policemen, a ski patrol and a helicopter were mobilised to search for the Danes. They were found on Monday afternoon thanks to avalanche transceivers that the brothers were carrying.

The police in the nearby town of Grenoble confirmed that the two men were indeed Danes, hailing from Nykøbing Falster.

“We are not able to provide more details at this time,” the Grenoble Police informed Ekstra Bladet tabloid. “We are currently investigating the case.”

According to the French news service AFP, 12 people have lost their lives in French avalanches so far this winter.

“The snow packs are particularly unstable this winter and it can be very risky to ski off-slope,” Laurent Jaunatre, a police spokesperson in the Alpine region, told Ekstra Bladet.

Last year, 36 people lost their lives in French avalanches and in 2012 two Danes managed to survive an avalanche in the French Alps.