Alps avalanche: Teacher questioned by police in hospital

PARIS -- A French prosecutor says the teacher who accompanied high school students swept away by a deadly avalanche in the French Alps is suspected of involuntary manslaughter.

See Full Article

Prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat in the eastern city of Grenoble, near the Alps, said the teacher is being questioned by police at a local hospital where he is treated for injuries from the avalanche.

According to initial reports by witnesses, the students were skiing on a ski slope that had been closed since the beginning of the season due to lack of snow. The ski slope was closed by a 50-meter long (164 feet) and one-meter high (3.2 feet) net with advisory in different languages, and the group deliberately stepped over it to access the slope, Coquillat said.

"This is not inattention," the prosecutor said. "It is in full knowledge that the group moved into this place and this closed slope."

Three people were killed at the Deux-Alpes ski resort Wednesday. Two were among the group of 10 French high school students who were skiing with their sports teacher and the third was believed to be a Ukrainian skier.

According to the first questioning, some of the students on Wednesday morning had asked to ski on this specific slope, but another teacher leading the school trip had refused because the slope was closed.

It is unclear why the teacher who accompanied the group went on the closed slope with the students. The prosecutor said further investigations and expertise "will also seek to determine the mental state of the teacher and his ability to supervise a group."

Coquillat noted that a large amount of snow had fallen on the resort on the previous days and that many skiers, "probably several hundred," had skied on the closed slope on Wednesday.

Some witnesses quoted by the prosecutor said that the avalanche could have been triggered by another group of skiers, tourists from Hungary and Romania, who were skiing higher up on the slope.

Earlier Thursday, another French official suggested that the students may have skied ahead of their teacher.

Jean-Paul Bonnetain, the top administrative official for the Isere region, urged all skiers to heed avalanche warnings. Speaking on i-Tele television Thursday, Bonnetain said "initial witness accounts describe students passing ahead of the leader."

Another regional official said the group had no guide. Gendarmes returned to the scene Thursday to investigate, according to the official, who is not authorized to be publicly named according to administration policy.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Health minister says Canadians need to avoid judging those addicted to opioids

    Canada News CBC News
    As the opioid epidemic continues to march across the country, destroying an ever increasing number of lives, the federal health minister says people have fallen into the habit of passing judgment on those who are addicted to the drug. Source
  • Why confessing Canada's failures could be part of Trudeau's plan for UN success: Chris Hall

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now given two speeches to mark the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, two speeches in which he sought to burnish his government's progressive, internationalist credentials at a time when so many other world leaders are focused inward. Source
  • Phoenix payroll system under budget? Sounds like creative accounting to expert

    Canada News CBC News
    The implementation costs of a payroll system that was delayed and has never worked properly actually came in under budget at a cost of $307 million, the federal government says. That figure is $2 million less than what the government projected several years ago — but it doesn't include the multimillions earmarked for fixing Phoenix. Source
  • Do kids and pit bulls mix?

    Canada News CBC News
    Chantal Campeau and her two children waited anxiously outside a private hanger at the Calgary airport a few weeks ago for some precious cargo to arrive. They were part of a small group of people who were eager to welcome 30 dogs — including 12 pit bulls — that had been on their own death row in an overcrowded shelter in California. Source
  • U.S. slow to present specifics on key NAFTA demands

    Canada News CBC News
    The United States has made a big fuss over using NAFTA talks to demand better labour standards in Mexico, but after two rounds of discussions, U.S. negotiators have still not presented any specifics about what they would like to see changed. Source
  • Trump calls the Iran nuclear deal 'the worst' but nixing it could be worse still

    World News CBC News
    ?A deal is a deal is a deal. Unless it's an Iran nuclear deal. Try explaining that to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who faces the possibility of seeing a three-year negotiation process that resulted in the 2015 Iran nuclear pact crumble at the feet of Donald Trump. Source
  • Iran unveils new missile during parade in defiance of U.S.

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Revolutionary Guard has unveiled its latest ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres - about 1,250 miles- capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel. The unveiling came during a military parade on Friday in Tehran. Source
  • Hurricane Maria churns toward Turks and Caicos as death toll mounts

    World News CBC News
    Hurricane Maria barrelled toward the Turks and Caicos on Friday after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands with winds and rain that destroyed homes, caused flooding, devastated economies and left at least 32 people dead. Source
  • Death toll mounts as Hurricane Maria nears Turks and Caicos

    World News CBC News
    Hurricane Maria barrelled toward the Turks and Caicos on Friday after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands with winds and rain that destroyed homes, caused flooding, devastated economies and left at least 32 people dead. Source
  • 'Absolutely scandalous': Alberta man fined for killing grizzly used for research

    Canada News CTV News
    EDSON, Alta. - An Alberta man charged with killing a collared grizzly bear that was being tracked for research will pay nearly $13,000 in fines, but some say it doesn't go far enough to protect the threatened species. Source