(photo: Rosa Khutor Resort)

Deadly Avalanche Strikes Sochi Olympic Venue

Rosa Khutor, Russia – Just one day after opening to the public following the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, an avalanche struck Russia’s Rosa Khutor ski resort on Sunday, leaving two dead.

Resort officials indicate that six skiers were on the resort’s blue-square Labirint run when the avalanche struck. The slide propagated from the resort’s black-diamond “Crazy Khutor” run above, which was closed. Two unidentified women were buried, and rescuers were unable to locate the victims before they died. The four others reportedly escaped unharmed.  Early reports on Rossiya television indicated that three were killed in the avalanche, citing witness accounts.

(photo: Rosa Khutor Resort)
(photo: Rosa Khutor Resort)

Investigators are said to be looking into the cause of the snow slide. Resort officials indicate that avalanche mitigation efforts were conducted using automated GAZEX cannons prior to Sunday’s opening, and snow conditions were determined to be stable following these efforts.

Rosa Khutor hosted all of the alpine skiing disciplines at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games: downhill, combined (downhill and slalom), giant slalom and super G.

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