Europe

Tignes avalanche: All skiers reported safe after resort struck by avalanche

carline piste Image copyright Glenn Cloarec/VICE
Image caption The avalanche is said to have struck the Carline piste

No one has been hurt in an avalanche that struck the French ski resort of Tignes, reports say.

Early reports quoted police as saying the avalanche buried several skiers.

Bad weather had hampered the rescue operation but it has now concluded without finding any casualties, according to the latest reports.

The avalanche risk at Tignes was said to be four on a scale of five, and part of the resort had been closed to skiers.

The resort said on Twitter that while there had been an avalanche there was "no drama", in reply to a supportive tweet sent by France's sports minister Thierry Braillard.

A journalist at the scene said it had been snowing heavily in Tignes for days and that mountain guides had been setting off preventative avalanches to try to reduce the threat.

Image copyright Glenn Cloarec/VICE
Image caption There had been heavy snowfall in the days before the avalanche

Laurence Blainey, a British tourist staying at the resort, said the Carline piste was the only one that had been open near the village where he was staying and was crowded with skiers.

"We were in the queue for the ski lift when suddenly 30 or 40 ski instructors came running and told everyone just to get up the mountain. It was orderly but very very urgent," he said.

Mr Blainey said he had seen footage filmed by other skiers of people on the slope digging themselves out of snow that had fallen on them.

"It's quite amazing what happened. I'm feeling quite emotional," he added.

Last month four snowboarders were killed when an avalanche hit an off-piste area of the same resort. Tignes said that it appeared to have been set off by a group of skiers higher up.

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