A series of fatal ski accidents leaves people wondering if the Alps are safe

CHEAPOME — A 5-year-old girl and a famous French actor are the latest deaths in an increasingly dangerous sport: alpine skiing.

Last week, a 40-year-old French man was charged with manslaughter after plunging a 5-year-old girl at top speed while she was taking part in a lesson organized by the French Ski school near Chamonix. as it is known by its nickname – “the death sports capital of the world”. Her injuries were so severe, she was airlifted to a nearby hospital but died en route. A week later, French actor and upcoming star of the Marvel Moon Knight TV series Gaspard Ulliel died in a horrific accident on the piste in La Rosiere, Savoie.

The deaths of these twins proved ill-timed for the ski industry, the ski industry just getting back online after two years of being restricted by the pandemic. Prior to the COVID incident, eight people had died during the shortened 2020/2021 season, according to the French Ministry of Tourism. That same year, 100,000 people were injured, some with near-fatal head injuries and serious fractures. About 5% of those injured had to be taken to hospital. Several years, the number of people who die while skiing in the Alps press three digits.

Authorities blame the best skiers, and those who don’t follow speed-reduction recommendations in certain areas may have slower skiers or in residential areas along the slopes Mountain. Ulliel died from the injuries he sustained after crashing into another skier unharmed on the blue piste. Police charged the man with killing the 5-year-old with “excessive speed” and ignoring a sign warning skiers to slow down due to the presence of a French ski school. However, collisions between skiers or ski groups account for only 5% of all accidents in Alpine. The main cause of these deaths is human error and most of the deaths are due to single skating accidents. French authorities say they are investigating whether helmets should be worn by all skiers.

The famous crash involving Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, who is still in the midst of serious recovery from a skiing accident in Meribel in the French Alps in December 2013, has once brought the matter up. Ski safety in the Alps comes first. Opponents of the helmet requirement pointed out that Duc was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head on a rock and that the helmet didn’t stop suffering a serious brain injury.

Besides the problem of ski safety, authorities say there is an even bigger threat to skiers on the horizon. Avalanches caused by climate change are starting to pose the biggest threat to snow lovers. The number of avalanches during the 2020/21 season more than doubled from the previous year. Between December 2020 and April 2021 — when many ski slopes were closed due to the pandemic — 27 deadly avalanches killed 37 cross-country skiers without warning.

This year’s winter has been marked as one of the warmest in years in the often frigid ski resorts. In Italy, the popular ski area Cortina d’Ampezzo is 15 degrees Celsius above normal on New Year’s Day, making skiing nearly impossible. Melting snow that doesn’t even freeze overnight at altitudes lower than 4,000 meters also means it’s too warm to create artificial snow. Luca Mercalli, a meteorologist who studies Italy’s alpine regions, says that warm weather and high winds are the perfect recipe for avalanches because the heavier snow that accumulates when it melts can easily slide down the mountain in these conditions. that warm temperature. “We can’t warn people to come down the mountain during the peak of the ski season, but this is a particularly disturbing phenomenon,” he told The Daily Beast. “It’s hard to say it’s safe out there.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/a-spate-of-fatal-ski-accidents-has-people-wondering-if-the-alps-are-safe?source=articles&via=rss A series of fatal ski accidents leaves people wondering if the Alps are safe


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: clarefora@interreviewed.com.

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