One dead and three injured during an ultra-trail: “I saw people flying, hitting in all directions, screaming then disappearing in the dark”

One dead and three injured during an ultra-trail: “I saw people flying, hitting in all directions, screaming then disappearing in the dark”
One dead and three injured during an ultra-trail: “I saw people flying, hitting in all directions, screaming then disappearing in the dark”

The Haut Giffre ultra-trail in Haute-Savoie turned into a tragedy on Saturday June 15. On the Le Parisien website, participants describe apocalyptic scenes.

One dead and three injured, two of whom were serious: the Haut Giffre ultra-trail in Haute-Savoie, in which more than 4,000 runners participated, turned into a tragedy on Saturday June 15, as we reported yesterday. In particular: deplorable weather conditions, even if no particular alert had been issued by Météo France.

On the website of Parisian, participants describe apocalyptic scenes. One of them saw “people stealing, hitting in all directions, screaming then disappearing into the dark”. Another saw right in front of him “people unscrew 300 m and get injured, scream in fear” and wonders how the organizers could have sent them into this nightmare given the weather forecast.

You will suffer because there will be deluges of water. It’s going to be cold, a lot of wind, plus rain, it’s going to be very hard.

Our colleagues emphasize that the tone was set shortly before the start, Friday around 11:45 p.m.: the race will be difficult, very difficult. “It’s not asphalt, it’s mountain. So I’m going to ask you to be very, very careful, to go very slowly., warned the speaker, quoted by the daily. It’s going to be zero degrees […] You’re going to suffer because there’s going to be deluges of water […] It’s going to be cold, a lot of wind, plus rain, it’s going to be very hard.”

The deceased runner is a 52-year-old man, who died on the spot from a cardio-respiratory injury. An autopsy must be carried out to find out the exact reasons for his death. The other three victims are also men. They suffer in particular from head trauma, after having fallen “in a mountainous area made slippery by weather conditions”according to Bonneville public prosecutor Karline Bouisset, cited by AFP.

“Deep sadness”

The investigation, opened for “search for the causes of death” and “endangering the lives of others”, was entrusted to the Bonneville research brigade with the support of the Chamonix high mountain gendarmerie platoon. “in order to shed light on the precise circumstances of these accidents and establish or rule out possible criminal liability”.

On Facebook Saturday evening, the organizers announced their “deep sadness” : “We announce to you that the UTHG has just experienced a dramatic event with the accidental death of a runner. The rescuers present on site intervened immediately and provided first aid while awaiting his evacuation. All our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the victim.”

An ultra-trail is a running race whose distance exceeds that of a standard marathon (more than 42,195 kilometers). These particularly challenging events take place most of the time in natural environments such as mountains, forests or deserts. Ultra-trails can range from 50 kilometers to several hundred kilometers. Enough to seriously test the physical and mental abilities of the participants.

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