Missing Climbers Alive After Avalanche

2 are rescued in snow; death toll stands at 9
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2012 2:32 PM CDT
A French rescue helicopter returns to a helipad after searching the area where an avalanche in the French Alps near Chamonix, France, swept at least nine climbers to their deaths, July 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Two people caught in today's avalanche in the French Alps have been found alive in the snow, CNN reports, and four others who had been deemed missing have been located, and are unscathed. Rescuers had broken off the search for the four because of weather conditions, but they eventually discovered that two had turned back early and the other two had taken a different route, according to the BBC.

The total confirmed dead remains at nine. Twelve others were injured in the incident, though some so mildly that they've already left the hospital. The mayor of Charmonix said that the avalanche was a random occurrence. "We had no more reason than usual to be alarmed." Veteran mountain guides say the area is highly avalanche-prone, with slabs of snow that "can easily be set off by a passing climber."

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