Snow and Avalanche Center 2009 Avalanche News

Swiss acquit 2 accused in army climbing accident

2009-11-21 01:06 AM

(AP) - A Swiss military court has acquitted two army guides accused of negligent homicide of a group of soldiers killed by an avalanche in 2007.

The verdict Friday can be appealed within five days.

The accident, in which six soldiers fell 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) to their deaths, was the Swiss military's worst in 15 years. Eight people, including the two guides, were rescued unharmed.

The military court in Chur says it is unclear what caused the avalanche but it might have been because one of the soldiers slipped on an unstable snow layer.

The court has ruled that the two unidentified guides will receive compensation of 75,000 Swiss francs ($74,000) and 90,000 francs ($88,700) respectively to pay for their legal defenses.

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