Officials say avalanche was impossible to predict

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(AP) – Local officials in the area where yesterday’s deadly avalanche struck in the French Alps say it would have been impossible to foresee it. The head of the local mountain search and rescue service says there’s no way to predict when a slab of snow or ice is going to detach.

A deputy mayor who is also a mountain guide says the area where the avalanche occurs sees between four and 10 accidents a day this time of year, but rarely something so serious. The avalanche on Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, killed nine European climbers. Fourteen other people were injured.

One survivor told French newspaper Le Parisien he was rolled down the mountain by the slide as he led two Danish climbers — who also survived. He says they were lucky to be on the edge of the avalanche. Another survivor said as he was discharged from the hospital that he won’t be back any time soon.

But guides were still setting out with clients today, though poor weather limited many to lower heights.

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