Foreign Ministry confirms Dutch snowboarder's death in avalanche; two still missing in French Alps

Avalanche. Photo: Scientif38 / Wikimedia Commons

Update 3:10 p.m.: The deceased Dutch snowboarder and his two missing friends are all from the Nijmegen area, according to the Telegraaf. One is a student of the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, one is a student at Radboud University and the other is an alumnus. 

A 22-year-old Dutch snowboarder died in the French Alps after being buried under an avalanche on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. Two others, age 21 and 25 years, are still missing. Their families were informed, AD reports.

Rescue workers resumed the search for the missing snowboarders at 7:30 a.m.

French media report that the three were snowboarding in the region of Le Seuil, about 60 kilometers east of Grenoble. This is a particularly dangerous area known for avalanches. It is unclear what they were doing outside the safe zones. 

The avalanche happened around 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The alarm was sounded late and the first rescue helicopter was only deployed around 7:30 p.m.

La Daupine Libere reports that one of the Dutch sent an SMS to another member of the Dutch group saying that they were lost. The message was only discovered at 5:00 p.m., after the avalanche. And the Dutch person in question only informed a guide around 7:00 p.m. The reason for the delay is unclear. 

The three had no avalanche beepers - devices that make it easier to locate people under the snow - with them. 

The search was called off around midnight due to poor visibility and resumed around 7:30 p.m. this morning. 

The body of the 22-year-old snowboarder was found on Wednesday. The other two are still missing.

According to AD, the search is very risky because the snow mass is unstable.