It is sad to return from Munich to hear this news. I competed against some of the skiers from the 7th division at the Rallye des Crêtes last winter. As professional military personel risk goes with the job but this will be a big blow to the division and their friends and families.
The Grenoble prosecutor has decided to open an case concerning manslaughter and bodily harm following an avalanche that killed three soldiers on the 31st of January 2006 close to the Pic du Bure in the Dévoluy mountain range. An inquiry carried out by specialists attached to the Gendarmerie of the Hautes-Alpes department and specialist mountain police (PGHM) from Briançon has established that excessive risk was taken during the exercise. A prosecuting judge will be appointed in the next few days.
The appeal court in Grenoble has confirmed that there is no case to answer following the Pic de Bure avalanche which killed three soldiers. This confirms the findings of May 2007.
The victims were part of a group of seven soliders. The accident happened in a 700 meter wide bowl where large quantities of snow had accumulated under the influence of the wind. The group leader traversed the bowl without incident. The avalanche occured when the rest of the group followed. The victims were spaced 150-200 meters. The avalanche took almost the full width of the bowl.
On the 25th of May 2007 the courts found no case to answer following the request of the prosecutor but one of the families of the victims appealed this decision.