“Everything was done on a humane level”: Five hikers from the same family were found dead in the Alps

“Everything was done on a humane level”: Five hikers from the same family were found dead in the Alps

An investigation is underway to clarify the circumstances of this tragedy.

Emotions were running high on Monday evening in the Swiss canton of Valais, in the southwest of the country, after the bodies of five of the six ski hikers missing since Saturday were discovered.

Residents told AFP that the five hikers who were found dead were all members of one family from the town of Vix, located in the Herence Valley.

On Monday, the police continued to search for the sixth person, who is originally from the canton of Friborg, to no avail at the present time.

In a state of great emotion, about 400 people gathered together in the evening in Vicks, candles in hand, after a ceremony in the church.

Residents also came to place bouquets of flowers in honor of the victims.

Ages 21 to 58

“I wanted to show all my sympathy, I was very touched,” says Micheline George-Logan, a resident of the valley, who came to leave a bouquet of white roses in front of the village church.

“I know my parents (the three deceased brothers, editor's note) very well. The children are a little bit my age (editor's note) so I bring a bouquet of flowers here and say a prayer…” he adds. -she.

The police did not want to provide details about the identity of the people found until the official identification results were known.

An investigation is underway to clarify the circumstances of this tragedy.

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The group of hikers, made up of Swiss citizens aged between 21 and 58, left Zermatt on Saturday morning with the aim of reaching the highland village of Arola on the same day.

“Try the impossible”

“Everything was done at the human level, at the resource level… We tried to achieve the impossible. Sometimes we have to bow before nature,” Valais canton police chief Christian Varon announced during a press conference in Sion.

He stressed that “rescuers did their best” to find them, pointing to the “catastrophic” conditions over the weekend, with winds, fog, extreme cold, and a high risk of avalanches.

Emergency services were alerted on Saturday afternoon by a family member who was supposed to meet the group in Arola and who was concerned they had not arrived.

The hikers were able to be on the Col de Tête Blanche, about 3,500 meters above sea level, because one of them was able to call for help.

But the storm is linked to the Monica depression that struck over the weekend in the southern Alps, with wind gusts of up to 150 kilometers per hour or even 190 kilometers per hour locally, as well as the danger of avalanches that have long prevented helicopter and rescue operations. Columns to be able to approach the area.

On Sunday evening, a team of two rescuers, a doctor and a police officer were finally able to be airlifted near Dent Blanche's cabin.

When they arrived at the Tite Blanche sector, they discovered the five bodies.

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