A 12-year-old boy was found alive and uninjured after he was buried under an avalanche in the French Alps for 40 minutes. Rescuers are referring to the entire situation as a 'miracle'.
The French police officers from the town of Bourg Saint-Maurice stated that the boy had been skiing away from the prepared ski runs at the ski resort La Plagne with a group of seven other skiers when he had been swept away.
The boy in question had started to go down, ahead of the group and he was the only one that was caught in the snow when a large section of snow ended up detaching and hurdling down the mountain. Due to the force of the avalanche, he ended up being dragged down for 110 yards (100 meters).
Immediately afterward, the police were notified and rescue workers arrived via helicopter at the scene of the avalanche, which was located at 7,875 feet (2,400 meters) altitude. The boy was found by a sniffer dog, and according to the report, the boy's winter jacket hadn't been equipped with an avalanche detector. This is a device that is recommended for all skiers that can immensely help any rescuers when they are looking for people in an avalanche.
The rescue workers said that the operation was a complete miracle since the chances of survival after being trapped under the snow for such a long time are slim to none. However, according to the police, one of the reasons why this boy managed to survive being trapped under all that snow was because his airways hadn't been blocked by any snow, so he was able to breathe.
Avalanches are very common and tend to occur most in the first 24 hours after a snow storm. After an avalanche accident, a person has around 10 minutes time, which is the most critical time to be rescued. It's also crucial for other people who are close by to witness the accident, which is another element important in surviving an avalanche. So after being trapped for more than 30 minutes under a large amount of snow, it really is a miracle that the boy managed to survive.