Two ski patrollers have been killed when devices used to trigger controlled avalanches accidentally exploded at the Morillon Ski Resort in the French Alps.
The high mountain gendarmerie of the Haute-Savoie region said the accident happened Sunday morning in Morillon before the ski slopes were opened to the public. Police officers are investigating the scene to determine the cause of the rare accident.
The two employees were preparing the pistes by carrying out controlled explosions before the slopes opened – mitigating the risk of larger avalanches and protecting skiers.
Reports state police confirming that they were killed by the explosion and did not die after being caught up in the avalanche the blast set off.
The risk of an avalanche was estimated at “high” Sunday in Morillon, with a rating of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 following a heavy snowfall overnight.