Search for missing climbers suspended

5:15 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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CHAMONIX, France - The search for at least four climbers still unaccounted for after an avalanche on western Europe's highest mountain has been suspended.

The efforts of emergency crews using dogs and helicopters have been hampered by the possibility of further avalanches. Authorities say the avalanche was triggered when a climber accidentally caused a slab of ice to snap off as he made his way up Mont Blanc in the French Alps.

The avalanche swept nine European climbers to their deaths. Eleven others are hospitalized. Two other climbers were rescued during a search for the missing.

Early summer storms apparently left behind some heavy snow that combined with high winds to form dangerous overhanging conditions on some of the popular climbing routes around Mont Blanc.

The Associated Press

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