On Thursday morning, an avalanche swept down a ski piste in the ski resort town of Andermatt in canton Uri in central Switzerland. Two people have been rescued with minor injuries but cantonal authorities fear that several other people may be buried. An extensive rescue operation is underway.
Cantonal policeexternal link spokesperson Reto Pfister confirmed to Keystone-ATS news agency that the avalanche made its descent around 10:50 am in the region of Oberalp Pass. It was not clear at the time if the ski piste was open or closed but the police assume that several people have been swept away.
Swiss Alpine Rescue, Rega (Swiss Air-Rescue) and cantonal police have been mobilized.
According to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF), an avalanche danger level 3 applies to the Andermatt region. It writes that “Avalanches can be released, even by a single winter sport participant and reach dangerously large size. Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for experience in the assessment of avalanche danger.”