Two killed in Ben Nevis avalanche

Coastguard helicopter involved in rescue effort
Image caption A Coastguard helicopter involved in the rescue effort

Two climbers have died and two have been injured in an avalanche on Ben Nevis.

The alarm was raised at 11:50 after the incident, which took place in an area known as Number 5 Gully.

A Coastguard helicopter, an air ambulance, three road ambulances and a trauma team were sent to the scene.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team was supported by members of Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team in the rescue effort on Britain’s highest mountain.

A group of military personnel training in the area also offered assistance to the rescuers.

Trauma team

On Monday, the Scottish Avalanche Information Service assessed the potential avalanche risk in Lochaber, where Ben Nevis is located, as “high”.

Police Scotland said it was co-ordinating the mountain rescue response and supporting those at the scene.

“No further details are available at this time,” it added.

Image caption On Monday, the avalanche risk on the mountain was assessed to be ‘high’

The Scottish Ambulance Service said it had dispatched three ambulances, a helimed resource and a trauma team to the scene after being alerted at 12:22.

‘Heart-breaking news’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her thoughts were with the bereaved and injured following the “absolutely tragic news”.

Local SNP MSP Kate Forbes added: “I’m sure that the hearts of everybody in the local area go out to those who are grieving. I sincerely hope that there are no further casualties.”

She also expressed gratitude to the mountain rescue team volunteers who were “ready and willing to go out in all weathers whenever the call comes”.

Image caption Mountain rescue teams, the coastguard, police and ambulance service were involved in the rescue effort

Ben Nevis has been the scene of other fatal accidents this winter.

A 21-year-old German woman, who was studying at Bristol University, died after she fell from a ridge she had been climbing with three other people on New Year’s Day.

In December, Patrick Boothroyd, 21, from West Yorkshire died after a fall on the mountain.

Elsewhere in the Highlands, a 57-year-old man died after he and a companion were reported missing in Glen Coe on Saturday.

The pair had travelled to the area from Nottinghamshire as part of a larger group.

Last month, Aberdeen-born Andy Nisbet and Inverness-based Steve Perry died after getting into difficulty on Ben Hope.

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