Two Italian tourists caught in Lyngen avalanche

UPDATED: Another avalanche, this time in the Lyngen Alps of Northern Norway, crashed down on a group of ski tourists from Italy on Thursday afternoon. One was rescued quickly, but the other was caught under the snow for nearly two hours before being found and dug out.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the Italian skier found last was sent by helicopter to the University of North Norway’s hospital in Tromsø. He was listed in critical condition Thursday night, after being found under four meters of heavy snow.

NRK reported there were four skiers from Italy out skiing when the avalanche hit not far from Lyngseidet at around 4pm. The first skier recovered was conscious and received medical treatment at the scene. It took well over an hour to find and free the second skier, who’d been buried under masses of snow.

The Norwegian Red Cross was coincidentally conducting a course for its search and rescue personnel close to the scene of the avalanche. Several of them took part in the rescue operation.

The avalanche danger had been set at grade three on Thursday, on a scale of one of to five, lower than the high danger levels set in the mountains of Southern Norway this week, where rising temperatures, storms and strong winds have also set off avalanches during the past two days. A German tourist was rescued Wednesday after four hours under the snow near Haugastøl on Hardangervidda.

Lyngen is a popular destination for skiers and trekkers on so-called “top tours” up local summits in the magestic Lyngen Alps. Their steep mountainsides can be dangerous, however, and avalanches and accidents have occurred over the years. “I’m worried about the conditions in the mountains,” one local resident told NRK. “There’s a lot of snow up there and I’m not surprised there’s been an avalanche. We’ve had a lot of wind all day and visibility is poor.”

newsinenglish.no staff