Six die in avalanche (2nd update)

The French Defence Ministry announced on 25 January that a sixth legionnaire has died of injuries sustained in the avalanche that killed five of his colleagues in the French Alps on 18 January.

Legionnaire 1st Class David Hetenyi, 23, was born in Hungary.

Legionnaire 1st Class David Hetenyi. Photo credit: French Defence Ministry

Legionnaire 1st Class David Hetenyi. Photo credit: French Defence Ministry

 

The five others who died were Legionnaires Denis Halili, Lal Bahadur Khapangi and Gheroghe Palade, Legionnaire 1st Class Samuel Simi and Corporal Touré Lamarana.

From left to right: Legionnaire Denis Halili, 21, born in Albania; Legionnaire Lal Bahadur Khapangi, 24, born in Nepal; Corporal Touré Lamarana, 33, married, born in Madagascar naturalised French; Legionnaire Gheorghe Palade, 21, born in Moldavia; Legionnaire 1st class Samuel Simi, 26, born in Italy

From left to right: Legionnaire Denis Halili, 21, born in Albania; Legionnaire Lal Bahadur Khapangi, 24, born in Nepal; Corporal Touré Lamarana, 33, married, born in Madagascar naturalised French; Legionnaire Gheorghe Palade, 21, born in Moldavia; Legionnaire 1st Class Samuel Simi, 26, born in Italy

 

Five soldiers from the French Foreign Legion 2nd Regiment of Engineers Saint-Christol died in an avalanche on 18 January in the French Alps during a training session. The five, part of a group of 52 undergoing a three-week mountain combat training session, were all experienced mountain climbers and skiers. They were on a route that had been reconnoitred a few hours previously by two instructors. They were all equipped with avalanche safety gear. It is believed that wind sheer was responsible for shifting the plaque of snow about 100m from the mountain’s summit.

Nine others were injured in the accident, two of the them seriously.

The Saint-Christol regiment is specialised in supporting the Alpine Infantry. Founded in 1999 it is the youngest of the Foreign Legion regiments and is part of the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade.

An archive photo of an  avalanche in 2012 in which the 2e REG was involved.

An archive photo of an avalanche in 2012 in which the 2e REG was involved.