A massive avalanche hurdled down a slope at the former Winter Olympics site in Sochi, Russia on Sunday. The avalanche killed two skiers, while four others were able to escape unharmed.
The avalanche was 80 cubic meters and struck at Sochi’s Rosa Khutor ski resort around midday. It buried six skiers on the “Labyrinth” slope, according to the Interfax news agency. The snowslide resulted in fatal injuries for two female skiers, reported the Russian Emergencies Ministry. The resort’s website released a statement saying, “despite all efforts to revive them, they could not be saved.”
The other skiers were unharmed except for one who left the site with a broken arm. Some of the skiers managed to dig themselves out of the snow. There were a total of 105 rescuers, 20 vehicles, and one aircraft that took part in the search and rescue team.
Witness Mikhail Karamyshev said, “We were skiing on the slope of Rosa Khutor, got tired, and sat down to rest. Suddenly we saw an avalanche sliding down. It appeared literally within seconds and practically swept away everything in its path. Those sitting and resting were knocked over and carried away in the direction of the ravine.”
Other witnesses expressed the thought that the incident could not have possibly happened at the given part of the slope and with such good weather conditions. Experts are now trying to determine the cause of the avalanche and it has been noted that a small avalanche occurred on the same slope previously.
The Emergencies Ministry department of the area had also issued an avalanche alert earlier for those skiing at heights above 1,300 meters between March 19 and March 21. Risky period for avalanches can be determined by a sudden change in temperature and melting show. Avalanches still manage to kill several dozen people at ski resorts every year