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Emily Franciose plunges to death while on school skiing trip

BY Anas Shah Mar 24, 2023. 10:59 pm UPDATED: Mar 24, 2023. 10:59 pm

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A huge 50-foot avalanche buried an 18-year-old student on a school skiing trip, with rescuers only finding her backpack.

Emily Franciose, a student at the prestigious boarding school Ecole d’Humanité in Colorado, was on a school trip to the Bernese Alps when she became trapped beneath a 2,000-foot-wide avalanche on the Gstelliwang slope in Bern, Switzerland.

On Tuesday, she and her classmate, an 18-year-old British boy, were skiing when the tragic accident occurred.

Unfortunately, the boy was declared dead before emergency services arrived.

The avalanche was more than 2,500 feet long, according to police, with Swiss rescue teams finding Emily’s backpack.

Her body, however, has yet to be found despite a lengthy search.

Authorities believe she has “no chance of survival,” and her family has been told that the recovery of her body may have to wait until the spring due to the weather.

Emily, according to her friends, documented her trip on social media up until March 17 by posting regular pictures of her trip.

Teachers at the school paid tribute to the 18-year-old British student, who officials have not identified.

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They were “heartbroken” to learn of his death.

The school said in a statement: “The very experienced group had taken the necessary precautions for a ski tour in advance. In particular, the current avalanche bulletin was taken into account and all persons were equipped with avalanche transceivers.

“Despite these measures, an avalanche broke loose and buried two students.

“Search and rescue efforts began immediately and the remaining group members were brought to safety. For an 18-year old British student of our school, unfortunately, any help came too late.

“The official search for the second student, who was from the USA, had to be interrupted at around 7.30pm on March 21 and was continued the next day.

“We regret this terrible accident and are deeply saddened. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to all students, their families and relatives.”

A search for Emily was launched, but it was called off around 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, with officials continuing the search the next day.

Alpine Rescue in Switzerland Rega crews, Swiss Alpine Rescue, several Rega, Air-Glaciers, mountain specialists, and other Bern canton police and Canton of Bern Care Team members were sent to search for the missing student.

However, the search was called off on Wednesday.

The school has pledged to help classmates who have been affected by the tragedy.

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They said: “There are also people present for psychological care, including individual grief counseling. This comprehensive assistance will continue until students depart.'”

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