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Young man dies in skilift fall

An 18-year-old man on a pre-Christmas skiing trip has died after falling from a skilift in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques

An 18-year-old man on a pre-Christmas skiing trip has died after falling from a skilift in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

The young student from a suburb near Pau fell 12 metres on to rocks shortly after boarding the skilift in Gourette.

He was airlifted to hospital in Pau with multiple fractures but died en route.

Witnesses said the safety bar on his lift might not have been correctly closed. Ski resort authorities have ruled out a technical fault.

Earlier this week, 73 people had to be rescued from ski lift cabins in the Pyrénées, after a cable snapped on the way up to the slopes.

The incident occurred in the ski resort of Luchon on Sunday morning and some people had to wait six hours to be freed.

It took 80 members of the emergency services, including firefighters, mountain rescue services and police to free all the holidaymakers, many of whom had to be taken to safety by helicopter. An investigation has been opened.

Meanwhile, ski resorts across France have reported a positive start to the season, with reservations doing well due to good snow conditions.

However, resort association France Montagne is concerned about the relatively late Easter school holidays this year - which do not start until mid-April, when some stations will already have closed.

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