Poor weather conditions meant rescue workers were unable on Sunday to continue their search for two skiers still missing and feared dead after an avalanche in Valais on Friday, reports thelocal.
Police stated on Saturday that two bodies had already been recovered from the site of the avalanche in the Swiss ski area of Vallon d’Arbi. Those found dead are both French nationals aged, 20 and 25, the police statement said.
“The bodies were found underneath some six meters (20 feet) of snow”, it added.
A 32-year-old French citizen and a Swiss national, 57, from the canton of Vaud, have not yet been found.
A spokesperson for Valais cantonal police said on Sunday that poor weather conditions and the danger of further avalanches after heavy snow on Saturday meant that the search could not go ahead. But “one never gives up”, the spokesperson added.
Police had earlier said rescue teams worked until 3:30 am on Saturday, then paused before resuming work.
They battled difficult conditions including continuous snow on Saturday before breaking for the night.
A Valais police spokesperson on Saturday told Swiss public broadcaster RTS that it was unlikely that anyone would still be found alive.
According to RTS, the avalanche happened at an altitude of around 7,200 feet.
Vallon d’Arbi is a route best suited to skilled skiers, which is sporadically closed for safety reasons. Tourism sites recommend visitors ski with a guide.
Police said the route was open at the time of Friday’s avalanche.
The accident is the latest in a series of fatal incidents affecting skiers in Switzerland this season, with a series of avalanches killing three in the Swiss Alps last month.