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Moment skiers narrowly avoid disaster after passing helicopter sheds its load with enormous gas cylinder then careening down piste in Italy


This is the moment skiers narrowly avoid disaster after a passing helicopter sheds its load with an enormous gas cylinder then careening down a piste in Italy.

The helicopter can be seen carrying goods under a perfect blue sky over the Aprica ski resort in the province of Sondrio in the north of the country.

It dropped its load before the gas cylinder hit the ground in a puff of snow and then hurtled down the slope, perilously close to skiers making their way down the mountain.

The cylinder gained speed and grazed a skier who managed to avoid it in time and other people in its path moved to the side of the slope, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt and the cause of the incident, which took place on Sunday, is not yet clear. 

The helicopter can be seen carrying goods under a perfect blue sky over the Aprica ski resort in the province of Sondrio in the north of the country

The helicopter can be seen carrying goods under a perfect blue sky over the Aprica ski resort in the province of Sondrio in the north of the country

It drops its load before the gas cylinder hits the ground in a puff of snow and then hurtles down the mountain, perilously close to skiers making their way down the mountain

It drops its load before the gas cylinder hits the ground in a puff of snow and then hurtles down the mountain, perilously close to skiers making their way down the mountain

Aprica is enjoying relatively good conditions, with most of the ski area open.

It comes more ski lifts have ground to a halt across Europe as resorts struggle to cope with a lack of snow following an exceptionally mild winter.

Stark images show entire mountains looking bare when normally at peak season in mid-to-late February they would be covered in snow and busy with winter sports fans.

In the French ski resort of Saint-Colomban-des-Villards, lifts are at a standstill due to lack of snow amid temperatures climbing to 13C. It is a situation Le Parisien newspaper describes as ‘unprecedented’ with locals declaring: ‘I didn’t think I’d see it in my life-time.’

Similar scenes have been reported in the Artouste ski resort in the Pyrenees Atlantiques where piste grooming machines are lined up in a field next to motionless ski lifts.

The object can be seen making its way down the slopes at high speeds as it passes skiers

The object can be seen making its way down the slopes at high speeds as it passes skiers 

The helicopter flying away with the rest of its goods after the incident in Lombardy, northern Italy

The helicopter flying away with the rest of its goods after the incident in Lombardy, northern Italy 

Resorts in Austria have also been hit with the Tyrolean ski area of Mutterer Alm closed, according to newspaper Kronen Zeitung. And last week pictures emerged of dozens of snow cannons that are being used to bolster the covering at Switzerland’s Leysin resort.

Earlier this month, ski-lifts were turned off and snow cannons abandoned on the grass of the 7,274ft Mount Terminillo in Italy’s Apennine Mountains after it became ‘too hot’ to use artificial snow cannons, a lifeline for many resorts battling shortages.

It comes in the height of ski season when thousands of Brits would normally be preparing to jet off to the Alps to enjoy winter sports.

Further afield in Bosnia, visitors to Mount Bjelasnica lugged their skis through mud to reach ski-lifts this week as spring-like weather following the planet’s hottest January spoilt their usual winter activity.

One hopeful skier, Aida Dedic, who had travelled to the Bosnian resort from the Netherlands, said: ‘I was caught by surprise when I saw this mud, it’s different from the last year.’

‘It’s probably because of these climate changes.’

FRANCE: This was the scene in the Artouste ski resort in the Pyrenees Atlantiques, France, on February 19 where the dry ground is showing and piste grooming machines are lined up with nothing to do

FRANCE: This was the scene in the Artouste ski resort in the Pyrenees Atlantiques, France, on February 19 where the dry ground is showing and piste grooming machines are lined up with nothing to do

FRANCE: A gondola lift is shown passing over bare fields and trees at the Artouste ski resort in France on February 19. Normally, skiers would be enjoying snow-covered slopes

FRANCE: A gondola lift is shown passing over bare fields and trees at the Artouste ski resort in France on February 19. Normally, skiers would be enjoying snow-covered slopes

FRANCE: people walk across patchy snow covering at the Artouste ski area on February 19

FRANCE: people walk across patchy snow covering at the Artouste ski area on February 19

SWITZERLAND: This was the scene in the Swiss resort of Les Mosses earlier this month with a slim stretch of snow in an otherwise bare field

SWITZERLAND: This was the scene in the Swiss resort of Les Mosses earlier this month with a slim stretch of snow in an otherwise bare field

Other European ski destinations, such as Italy, have also seen entire mountains snowless and ski centres abandoned.

After a warm December, skiers on the mountains surrounding the Bosnian capital Sarajevo enjoyed a few weeks of colder weather and some snow but in February came the melt.

One skier, Denis, from Croatia, said: ‘There is no snow, unfortunately.’

‘We have made reservations earlier but did not want to give up because the children were looking forward to this.’



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