Man arrested following death of five-year-old British girl in Alps skiing incident

The girl was 'violently' struck by another skier who lost control

Published

A 40-year-old man has been arrested following the death of a five-year-old British girl in a collision on a ski slope in the Alps.

The girl, named locally as Ophélie, was one of five children taking part in a ski lesson in Flaine, in the Haute-Savoie region of France, when she was “violently” struck by another skier who lost control on Saturday morning, according to France Bleu.

The child, said to have been living in Geneva, Switzerland, is reported to have been hit near the edge of a blue slope, Les Serpentines, and died shortly afterwards.

A 40-year-old man has been arrested and a manslaughter investigation has been opened, the outlet said.

According to France Bleu, a statement from the Bonneville prosecutor’s office, which has opened the case, said: “The child was in a queue behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by a skier going at high speed who tried in vain to avoid her.”

They added that a dozen people, including direct witnesses to the tragedy, have been interviewed "at length" since Saturday.

"The child was in a single file behind the group and was about to make a right turn when she was very violently hit by the skier arriving at high speed who tried in vain to avoid her."

Mayor of nearby Arâches, Jean-Paul Constant, said: "We are actively looking for a psychologist who speaks English for the family, who have returned to Geneva.

"They are suffering from extreme shock, as are many others involved in this tragedy."