Climbers killed in Mont Blanc avalanche from southern Germany

Three of the eight mountaineers killed this Sunday in an avalanche on Mont Blanc in the French Alps were from southern Germany, officials announced Tuesday – but the fourth German remains unidentified.

Climbers killed in Mont Blanc avalanche from southern Germany
Mont Blanc in the French Alps. Photo: DPA

Rescue workers had not been able to find the climber’s bodies until Tuesday, but dangerous snow conditions have prevented rescuers from recovering their bodies, which remain under an ice sheet between 20 and 50 metres thick.

Two of the climbers were from Bavaria, the State Office of Criminal Investigation said on Tuesday, declining to offer more information.

A third German who was also killed on the 4,695-metre (15,404 feet) peak was likely from the southern state of Baden-Württemberg in the Bodensee region, German news agency DPA reported.

The eight climbers killed were part of two rope teams. Among the Germans were three Swiss climbers and one Austrian. The two groups were swept more than 1,000 metres before they were buried, officials reported.

“The didn’t make any mistakes, and it wasn’t the weather. It was just bad luck,” a Chamonix police spokesperson said on Monday. The avalanche was apparently triggered by a block of ice that fell from a crag. “You can’t anticipate that,” he said.


German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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