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13000 trapped at Swiss ski station

12 January 2018

"The arrival and departure to/from Zermatt is not possible at the moment", the resort stated on its official website.

Helicopters are transporting people to and from the mountain, though no evacuation order has been announced.

In the Swiss resort of Zermatt, 13,000 holidaymakers have been left stranded.

A police official in Zermatt, a tourist magnet for backpackers and millionaires alike, said the helicopter journey to the village of Taesch takes around three minutes.

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Road and rail access to the famed ski and winter resort of Zermatt in southern Switzerland was cut off on Tuesday as the region was facing the maximum level of avalanche risk, authorities said.

The avalanche risk has been raised to the maximum level of five on the avalanche warning scale, the highest it's been for almost 10 years.

"There is nothing to panic about, everything is fine", Janine Imesch of the Zermatt tourism office told CBS News on Tuesday. Dominic Steinmann, Keystone, via AP Viktor Perren, in a helicopter of Air Zermatt throws an explosive material out of the window to artificially blow up avalanches at the skiing resort "Sunnegga" which is part of "Matterhorn Glacier Paradise" in Zermatt, Switzerland, on January 10 2018.

"No one can go skiing or hiking, but it's quiet, a little bit romantic", said Imesch. Due to heavy snowfall in the region interrupted by road and rail.

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Area roads were closed Monday morning and train services were canceled Monday night.

An avalanche hit a five-storey building in Sestrieres, in the Italian Alps, late on Monday, but the 29 people staying in the building escaped without injury, fleeing through the garage.

More snow is forecast, but authorities are expecting conditions to improve in the coming days.

British snowboarder John Bromell, of Lincolnshire, is still missing after he was last seen heading to the slopes in the French ski resort of Tignes on Sunday.

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13000 trapped at Swiss ski station