Four die in avalanche on Mont Blanc

ROME - Four mountain climbers died in an avalanche Tuesday on Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps.

Rescue officials said a wall of snow and ice came crashing down on 20 climbers around noon at an altitude of 12,460 feet on an ascent called the Tour Ronde. The avalanche happened on the French side of the 15,781-foot mountain, which is on the border with Italy.

The bodies had been retrieved and taken to Chamonix on the French side, said Carlo Di Giotto, a civil defense official in Aosta on the Italian side. Their names were not released.

The other 16 people were rescued and taken to hospitals in Chamonix and Aosta, Di Giotto said.

Rescue officials said they were not sure of the nationalities of the dead and injured climbers.


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