Four climbers die after night trapped on Swiss Alps

Four climbers have died and another five are in a critical condition after they became trapped overnight on the Swiss Alps during an unexpected storm.

Four climbers die after night trapped on Swiss Alps

Four climbers have died and another five are in a critical condition after they became trapped overnight on the Swiss Alps during an unexpected storm.

Police in Valais in south-western Switzerland said seven helicopters were used to rescue 14 hikers from France, Germany and Italy in the Pigne d’Arolla region.

Valais police spokesman Markus Rieder said the climbers were caught off-guard by high winds and snow and were forced to spend the night outdoors.

Several of those rescued were suffering from hypothermia, with three dying in hospital. A fourth climber was reportedly killed in a fall.

Police said the group had been trying to reach the Vignettes hikers hut at 10,357ft (3,157m) in the Alps.

Europe has suffered turbulent weather over the past few weeks, with unseasonable spells of hot and cold.

In Germany, firefighters pumped rainwater from basements and cleared flooded road tunnels after a storm swept through parts of the west overnight.

The Aachen region was hardest hit, with rescue services receiving hundreds of calls. Police said nobody was harmed.

France, Belgium and Luxembourg were also affected by heavy rain and hail.

- PA

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