Isère: An elderly couple killed in an avalanche (Illustration) -
CYRIL VILLEMAIN / 20 MINUTES
An elderly woman and man died partly buried under an avalanche in the Ecrins massif, in Isère, while they were moving on Sunday on a road closed in winter, mountain rescue services announced on Monday.
The victims were partly buried in 1.50 meters of snow.
The couple did not give any news on Sunday evening and the CRS de l'Alpe d'Huez, called Monday midday, found their bodies caught in a snow flow on the road leading to the hamlet of Bérarde, in the town of Saint -Christophe-en-Oisans.
They probably froze to death
"It is possible that at the time of the accident, they had their heads in the air or almost, but they did not have enough energy to free themselves completely", explained Brigadier Morin, of the Alpe d'Huez CRS, which carried out the relief efforts.
The skis on their feet acted "like anchors" and, at an altitude of 1,500 to 1,700 meters, they probably froze to death.
Two rescuers arrived on site on Monday around 12:30 p.m. with a civil security helicopter then reinforcements helped evacuate the bodies, assisted by two guards from the Ecrins National Park who came on skis.
A road "known for these very important avalanches"
The 80-year-old man and his wife, born 1948, have a second home in the area and are used to walking along this snow-covered road.
They were not wearing an avalanche victim detector (DVA).
This road is open in summer but not clear in winter and "known for these very important avalanches, according to the brigadier.
It's a very accessible place, the same scenario could have happened with a class.
"Given the large amount of snow, you have to find out about the routes and not go alone", underline the mountain rescuers who recommend "the greatest vigilance".
The avalanche risk was 3 out of 5 on Monday in the Oisans / Ecrins massif, but there it was "high".
Saturday in Savoie, a person died in an avalanche, and another was still wanted Monday morning in the Vosges after a snowfall.
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