In Europe at least ten people are reported to have been killed by a series of mountain avalanches that have affected three countries.
AV Derailed train on viaduct, Switzerland (5 shots)
AV PAN DOWN Mountain-side TO town
CU INT Helicopter
AV Town at base of mountain with people on snow covered roof-tops of buildings PAN OVER surrounding countryside (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Europe at least ten people are reported to have been killed by a series of mountain avalanches that have affected three countries.
SYNOPSIS: The avalanches started to slide down mountains high in the Alps on Thursday. This train in Switzerland was one of the casualties. No one was killed but a train driver and one passenger were reported to be badly injured when a section of the train left the frozen rails and plunged into a ravine. The accident happened on the Loetschberg Simplon line near to the Rhone Valley town of Brig. Then with winds reaching high speeds over night the number of avalanches reported throughout the Alps began to rise steadily. The avalanches blocked roads and railways in Switzerland, brought down power lines, and left many people stranded in remote villages. Alpine areas in France and Italy were also affected.
In these conditions a helicopter is one of the most efficient means of helping out in rescue operations. In Italy police in the northern town of Aosta said six people, including a Belgian couple and their young child, died when their cars were buried by snow on a road to a ski resort nearby. Rescue teams dug out two other people alive. And in France another four were killed when a mountain chalet was swept away by snow near the winter resort of Chamonix. The avalanche also injured two people and rescuers are looking for two more who are missing.