Three Polish climbers have hit by an avalanche triggered by a sérac fall on the Mont-Blanc du Tacul. The accident occurred around 19h30. On the 24th of August, 8 climbers were killed by an avalanche at the same spot.
The serac triggered a snow slab which carried the men around a hundred meters. Two of the group were able remain on the surface, one suffering facial injuries. The other man was buried for around ten minutes by the slide and suffered leg and hip injuries. Rescue helicopters were dispatched from both Chamonix and Annecy but the operation was hampered by cloud cover. The two injured men were taken to hospital in Sallanches.
There had been significant fresh snow at altitude at the start of October. With the thin snow pack and recent cold weather climbers have reported accumulations of weak facetted snow on north facing slopes. The serac was part of the same structure that caused the avalanche in August. The “Tacul” route, which has a reputation as being relatively easy, is frequently swept by avalanches and ice fall.