Canadian soldier missing and presumed dead following Swiss avalanche, CAF says | CBC News


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Local authorities had reported that three people were killed in an off-piste area of the Riffelberg, above the resort and below the famed Matterhorn peak.

Capt. Sean Thomas was on leave when slide occurred on April 1

Skiers are seen on a snowy mountain.
Rescuers work at a site of an avalanche in Riffelberg, Switzerland, on Tuesday. (Kantonspolizei Wallis/Keystone/The Associated Press)

The Canadian military says a soldier is presumed dead after being caught in an avalanche while on leave in Switzerland.

A statement from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) says Capt. Sean Thomas went missing in the slide on April 1.

Local authorities had reported that three people were killed in an off-piste area of the Riffelberg, above the resort and below the famed Matterhorn peak.

The military says Thomas joined the CAF in 2018 and he’d been deployed to Jordan last November as part of the Canadian Training Assistance Team.

He was set to return home next month.

“We join all Canadians to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Cpt. Sean Thomas,” National Defence Minister Bill Blair said in a statement. “Canadians will remember the dedication and sacrifices made by him and his family, as he proudly served our country.”

No other CAF members were in the area at the time of the slide, according to the military.

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