Friday, 18 October, 2019

Avalanche in Vermont injures 6 soldiers on Army mountaineering training

A skier cuts through the Highlander glades on Sterling Mountain at Smugglers&apos Notch in northern Vermont on Dec. 11 2014 A skier at Smugglers&apos Notch in northern Vermont on Dec. 11 2014
Emmett Howard | 16 March, 2018, 00:11

Veliko said two people barely avoided getting swept up in one Sunday in an area known as the Blind Faith Ampitheater, on the Mount Mansfield side of the Notch.

The narrow pass is located at the northern edge of Mount Mansfield, the state's highest mountain.

The Vermont National Guard said the avalanche hit around 1 p.m. while soldiers were training as part of the Army Mountain Warfare School near Smugglers' Notch, WCAX reported.

None of them suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said. Five of the soldiers have been hospitalized, however, with the sixth able to return to duty.

Five U.S. Army soldiers have been transported to UVM Medical Center after being caught in an avalanche at Smugglers Notch while doing rough-terrain training Wednesday afternoon.

According to statements released in local news outlet, The Burlington Free Press, the soldiers were dragged along the ground for at least 300 meters by the wave of snow and ice, but were not buried.

The spokesman did not know how severely the soldiers were injured.

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Multiple crews responded to the area in an effort to reach the soldiers.

This is the second time this week that an avalanche has been reported in the area.

Six United States Army soldiers were caught in an avalanche Wednesday while training on mountain warfare, sending majority to the hospital. It is located in Jericho, just southwest of the mountain pass where the avalanche hit.

Rivard said the school trains soldiers throughout the United States.

The way the snow has been delivered in the past couple weeks has set up flawless avalanche conditions, Veliko said, with layers of old, frozen snow topped by at least two layers of fresh snow.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a longtime supporter of the Vermont National Guard, tweeted in response to a WPTZ-TV report on Wednesday's avalanche. "Incidents at Bolton Valley and Killington over the last week alone have resulted in over 30 skiers and snowboarders requiring rescue", Neil Van Dyke, the search and rescue coordinator for Vermont State Police, said.

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