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Ski and Snowboarding Accidents Claim Five Lives

A retired teacher from Hampshire has died from a brain injury, after taking an “innocuous” tumble in front of her family while snowboarding at the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel.

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Sandra Thompson, 59, was wearing a helmet but died two days after the accident from severe swelling of the brain. Her family took the decision to turn off her life support machine.

In the US, another snowboarder was killed when he fell over a cliff at the Seattle ski resort of Alpental.

Also in Seattle, three men out skiing were killed when an avalanche struck at Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains, northeast of Seattle.

Sources say the avalanche occurred at an out-of-bounds area of the piste after heavy snow fall in the region. The three men were highly experienced skiers and have been named as Freeskiing World Tour head judge Jim Jack, director of marketing for Stevens Pass Chris Rudolph and skier John Brenan.

The avalanche swept the men 1,500 feet down a chute in the Tunnel Creek Canyon area. A fourth skier in the party was saved from being swept a quarter-mile down the canyon by safety equipment.

Dated: 20/02/2012

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