Swiss police allege snowboarder Estelle Balet has been killed in an avalanche while making a movie on the French border
Swiss snowboarding champion Estelle Balet was killed in an avalanche on Tuesday after a slab of snow transgressed away during a cinema shoot in Switzerland and swept her down a narrow, bumpy slope.
Police say the 21 -year-old Swiss athlete was struck early on Tuesday morning while filming above Orsieres, near Switzerlands southern frontier with France and Italy. She had been following another snowboarder, who wasnt caught in the avalanche.
Valais state police said in a statement that savers were able to free Balet, who had been wearing special security gear, but she died at the scene.
Balet recently prevailed the Freeride World Tour. She was a member of watchmaker Swatchs professional squad. Freeride snowboarding takes place away from devised streets and contestants are often at more risk of being caught in avalanches due to razzing off piste.
Police say they have launched an investigation into the cause of the incident. Despite immediate efforts to revive her, she died at the scene, police pronounced. An investigation has been started to determine the root causes the accident.
Balet had been wearing safety equipment including a design meant to help locate people in avalanches, as well as a helmet and an airbag designed to increase the chances of enduring a snow slide.
I feel a great sadness, a feeling of bitterness and above all a solidarity with those close to her, Nicolas Hale-Woods, the Freeride World Tour founder, told AFP. He said it was a reminder that even when supervised, performing freeride snowboarding on a mountain carried its share of uncertainty.
Estelle Balet was a naturally endowed glowing wizard and substantiated impressive expertise … bringing dwelling her second entitlement as World Champion only a few weeks ago in Verbier, said the Freeride World Tour in the following statement. Our guess are with the family and friends of Estelle Balet as we transmit our deepest sympathy and condolences during this very difficult time.
Balet, who grew up in the Swiss Alps, learned to ski as a tiny juvenile. She inaugurated snowboarding at the age of 10 and was competing in freeride snowboarding as a adolescent. While invited to participate in several major sporting rivals each winter, she also dedicated a significant part of her time to doing snowboard films.
In a Swiss TV interview earlier this month, Balet was asked how she felt as she prepared to descend a mountain. She said if she used snowboarding for a cinema, she often felt the concerns of an avalanche.