New Zealander dies in avalanche in French Alps

A New Zealand man has reportedly died in an avalanche in the French Alps.

The mountaineer was climbing Mont Blanc du Tacul in south eastern France on Monday about 11.30am (9.30pm Monday NZT) when the avalanche occurred, according to The Local.

A video of the avalanche moving down the mountain - known as one of the most dangerous in the world - has been posted on social media.

French media are reporting the avalanche may have been caused by specialist mountain rescue military police during a training exercise.

Two officers from the specialist High Mountain unit were taken to hospital for treatment. They were described as being "shocked and shaken" after the incident.

The officers are due to be questioned about what happened and an investigation is underway.

According to Metronews, the officers were training in the area and were swept away when an avalanche was triggered.

They later found the body of the New Zealander in the deep snow, The Local reported.

The incident was in the same area as an avalanche in July 2012, which claimed nine lives.

Eighteen months ago, New Zealand woman Carol Nash-Hamilton, 58, was among six experienced skiers who were swept away by the large snowslide in the French Alps, described as one of the deadliest in years.

Ms Nash and the other members of the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs died on the ski trip near the town of Ceillac in in the Queyras Massif, 200 kilometres north of Nice on the Italian border.

The avalanche was 300m wide and 900m long, French media reported.

Ms Nash's death was described as "a huge loss for the New Zealand mountaineering fraternity".

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said they were unaware of Monday's incident when contacted by the Herald but they were looking into it tonight.

- NZ Herald

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