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Man dies after snow groomer falls through ice

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Man dies after snow groomer falls through ice
Photo: Graubünden cantonal police
21:07 CET+01:00
Safety questions have been raised over the death on Wednesday of a 25-year-old man after the ski trail grooming machine he was driving across Lake Silvaplana, southwest of Saint Moritz, broke through the ice.

The incident occurred in the morning as the man was driving the snow cat over the snow-covered surface of the lake in the bay of Surlej, below slopes of ski resort (Corvatsch), Graubünden cantonal police said.

He was grooming a cross-country ski trail when the vehicle plunged into the lake.

Police divers were able to quickly retrieve the driver and revived him on the spot before putting him in a helicopter for transport to a clinic in Lugano in the canton of Ticino.

He died in the clinic about an hour after arrival, police said.

The grooming machine ended up on the lake bottom at a depth of 54 metres.

Police said an operation to retrieve the vehicle will be organized by police divers in the coming days.

The victim was a municipal employee, the Blick newspaper reported.

The newspaper noted that the grooming machine did not use floats, which are sometimes attached to such vehicles operating on snow- and ice-covered lakes .

Late last month, a snow groomer (known as a PistenBully) broke through the ice at Lake Saint Moritz but the vehicle did not sink because of floats, Blick said.

Police are further investigating Wednesday’s accident.  

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