Three Britons, two Germans, two Swiss, and 2 Spanish have been confirmed dead. They had been hiking Mont Maudit on their way to Mont Blanc. The alarm was sounded around 5:30 this morning, and the group was found several hours later.

“What happened is absolutely shocking news. For nine people to lose their lives at a small alpine resort will send shock waves through the community,” said British mountaineer Kenton Cool to the BBC.

The search remains on for two more Britons and two Spaniards who remain missing. Over 40 rescuers in helicopters are searching and hoping to find them alive.

The avalanche is speculated to have been caused by a lone hiker ahead of the group, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.  

The Mont Blanc mountain range is a popular summer hiking destination for climbers, though it is also one of the most deadly in Europe. Close to 100 people every year die on the mountain range. This accident is the worst since August 2008, when eight climbers died in a similar fashion.

“We hope the missing climbers are located soon, send condolences to the family and friends of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” said the British Mountaineering Council website.

Image via Getty.

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