5 people killed in separate avalanches in France, Italy

By Ray Downs  |  Feb. 15, 2018 at 9:22 PM
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Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Five people were killed from avalanches in France and Italy this week, officials said.

In Cuneo, Italy on Thursday, a mountaineer was descending from the Cima dell'Agnel mountain when the precipice he was on collapsed from the weight of the avalanche snd he fell dozens of meters onto the rocks below, Ansa reported.

On Wednesday, three skiers -- a 29-year-old and two 38-year-olds -- died while skiing off-piste in the Cauterets ski resort in the Pyrenees mountains near the Spanish border.

On Tuesday, an avalanche in southwestern France's Gavarnie-Gedre ski resort killed a 19-year-old skier.

Last month, avalanches in the French Alps killed two British skiers.

Avalanche deaths are fairly common in Europe's popular mountain ranges.

Between 1971 and 2011, avalanches killed an average of 30 people per year in the French Alps alone.

But in 2014, more than 100 people died in the French Alps.

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