French News

Fears grow for British skier missing in French Alps ski resort

A British skier is missing in the French Alps ski resort of Tignes, which is on red alert for the heightened threat of avalanches. Search efforts have been hampered by huge snowfall in the recent days.

French Gendarmes have launched a hunt for John Promell, 39, who went missing on Sunday afternoon.

He was last seen taking the Pacquis ski lift at around 4.30pm in the Tovière sector above Tignes for a last descent. He was wearing a colourful hat with a pompom and a checked jacket (see the pic).

Fears are heightened due to the amount of snow that has fallen in the area in recent days – described as a once in every 30 years phenomenon. The conditions have made it impossible for rescuers to send a search party out on foot up the slopes.

Ski slopes have been closed since Monday and the resort is on red alert for avalanches. Resort staff are carrying out planned blasts to try to trigger avalanches to make the area safe.

Officers are asking anyone who might have seen him to contact the Tignes Gendarmerie on +33 (0) 479063206.

The agency described the danger as of "exceptional intensity" and said numerous avalanches were expected on Monday evening.

More than 1,800 of these avalanches could take unusual trajectories and may hit roads and villages, the agency said.

Meanwhile the Hautes-Alpes department is on orange alert (one level below red) for avalanches and the Alpes-Maritimes is on orange alert for avalanches and storms.

The public are advised to avoid high roads in the area and to heed the safety advice in ski resorts.

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