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Runner dies amid bad weather at ultra-trail running event in French Alps

<i>Andia/Universal Images Group/Getty Images/File via CNN Newsource</i><br/>The route for the Ultra-Trail du Haut-Giffre goes through the Haut-Giffre valley in view of the Cirque du Sixt Fer à Cheval
Andia/Universal Images Group/Getty Images/File via CNN Newsource
The route for the Ultra-Trail du Haut-Giffre goes through the Haut-Giffre valley in view of the Cirque du Sixt Fer à Cheval

By Xiaofei Xu, CNN

Paris, France (CNN) — A runner has died while participating in the Ultra Trail of Haut-Giffre (UTHG) competition on Saturday, organizers said in a statement, amid rough weather conditions in the area.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that UTHG has just learned of a tragic event with the accidental death of a racer,” organizers said. “All our thoughts are with the victim’s family and relatives,” the statement added.

The runner was not identified in the statement and organizers said first responders provided aid while awaiting transport.

“In such circumstances, we have decided to cancel the rest of the event,” the statement added.

CNN has reached out to the organization for further comment.

The incident involved four runners who fell off a trail due to a slippery track, the local prosecutor told CNN affiliate BFMTV on Saturday.

The four runners fell “in a mountainous area made slippery by the weather,” Bonneville public prosecutor Karline Bouisset told BFMTV.

One of the four people included a man in his 50’s who died at the scene and was believed to have passed away due to a cardiorespiratory arrest, Bouisset told BFMTV, adding that the exact cause of death would be determined by an autopsy.

Among those who fell, two men were severely injured but were in stable condition, according to Bouisset. The fourth person involved was a woman who suffered a less severe injury. The three injured runners had all been transported to a hospital, according to Bouisset.

The prosecutor’s office had launched an investigation into the incident, she told BFMTV.

The three-day run takes place in the eastern French department of Haute Savoie, in the French Alps, and was set to run from June 14 to 16.

Organizers were forced to postpone the start of the run due to “difficult weather conditions” earlier on Saturday.

Mountain weather forecasts warned of intense meteorological conditions for the northern French Alps early Saturday morning, around the time of the tragedy.

“At the end of the night/beginning of the day, an active disturbance sweeps across the region from west to east,” said Météo Alpes, an independent weather service provider specialized in the northern French Alps, on Thursday.

“A brief thunderstorm is possible, with wet condition for lower level and snow will appear under the highest intensities starting at 2600/2700 meters,” its forecast said.

It’s not clear how many runners in total were injured during the bad weather.

According to a statement from the organizers early on Saturday, all participants were expected to have been evacuated by Saturday afternoon.

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