(file photo: Comune di Claviere)

British Teen Falls from Italian Ski Lift and Dies

Claviere, Italy - A 13-year-old British girl is dead after falling from a ski lift in Italy.

(file photo: Comune di Claviere)

(file photo: Comune di Claviere)

Poonam Bhattal, of Slough, Berkshire, was visiting the resort of Claviere in the Italian Alps on a shool trip organized by the tour group Skibound for students of the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, Middlesex, when the incident occurred on Feb. 22.

Reports vary as to how the accident that killed Bhattal happened. Lift operators told the press agency UPI that Bhattal somehow stood up on the chairlift just before falling onto rocks an estimated 20 feet below. Investigators told the La Stampa newspaper that Bhattal misloaded the chairlift and ended up in the lap of a classmate, preventing the safety bar from being fully lowered before she slipped off the chair. Another witness indicated that the victim and three classmates on the chair may have been engaging in horseplay at the time.

Rescuers were transporting Bhattal to a hospital in Susa, about 25 miles away, when she went into cardiac arrest and died.

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