The warning was issued shortly before noon on Sunday, August 7.
A landslide occurred on Sunday, August 7, around noon, in the Kanigou Chimney Strip while the Kanego Championship was taking place, which brought together nearly 700 runners.
Lisa Tummel, who was participating in the race, watched the rockslide: “I was about a hundred meters from the chimney. I saw a huge broken block, taking a lot of stones with it. There was a great noise, especially with the echo of the mountain. I was very frightened”as you say. The landslide could have occurred over a hundred meters away.
The helicopter of the Pamiers gendarmerie, as well as the Dragon 34 from Sdis Héraultais, were immediately sent to the CRS mountain to rescue the five victims. One of them was flown by helicopter to the Perpignan Hospital Centre, in an absolute emergency. You will have a pelvic fracture.
Firefighters also took care of the other four, who suffered minor injuries. One of the rescued runners, who is believed to have sustained a stomach injury according to the first elements, is 80-year-old Maurice Parksis, the “living legend of Kanigo,” who won all classes, still speechless. Those four with minor injuries were also airlifted from the scene of the landslide to Vernet-les-Bains, where they were taken care of by Prades firefighters, under the command of the CRS Mountain Unit, which is responsible for managing rescue operations.
According to the organizers, the race was quickly neutralized when they learned of the event. The landslide happened almost at the end of the race, and there were still about twenty competitors on site. Chimney access was blocked, and these last racers were able to drive home in SUVs, unfortunately without being able to finish the competition.
The cause of this collapse is currently unknown. During July, the Alps also experienced similar events, notably resulting in the closure of certain Mont Blanc climbing routes. These landslides could be related to drought. A hypothesis also applies in the Pyrenees Orientalis, while the department has been on drought alert for several weeks.
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