Piste patroller killed by avalanche charge

A 54 year old piste patroller has been killed in Klosters during avalanche control work. The patroller and his colleague had loaded a launch pipe with an 8.3cm rocket. The patroller was in the process of removing 2 safety devices when the charge exploded without warning. Standing behind the device the patroller was killed by the recoil and by shrapnel from the charge. The accident follows a another incident on the 18th December at Flégère in the Haute-Savoie. In this case the charge exploded inside an avalancheur system injuring two piste patrollers. Note: See comment from Philippe Laborde from LaCroix below

Two piste patrollers were killed in the Savoyard resort of la Toussuire in February 2010 while laying avalanche charges as part of the PIDA (Preventative Avalanche Clearance Plan). In this case it appears that an electronic detonator pre-triggered the charge before the patrollers could clear the zone. It was the first accident of its type for 25 years in France. In January 2011 a High Mountain Guide was injured by an unexploded avalanche charge while ski touring near Cauterets. The charge had been fired by an avalancheur in 2008.

Further Information


Posted by davidof on Saturday, 24 December, 2011 at 12:20 PM

You’d better verify what you writte, because the projectile (rocket) which killed the patroller was not fired by one avalancheur.
The accident in Chamonix whith the avalancheur this time injuried not serioulsly 2 people (the ears by the noise) by did’nt kill anybody.

Posted by  on  Friday, 30 December, 2011  at 08:34 PM
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