French Alps ski victims named


TWO men who were killed whilst skiing off-piste in France late last month have been named. 

Rajen Mahendra and his childhood friend Oscar Cassagneau-Francis, both 26, apparently fell to their deaths when they were ski­ing in the French Alps.  

Cassagneau-Francis’s brother, Olivier Phillipe, is said to have witnessed one of the men falling.  

After raising the alarm, rescuers arrived, but were unable to save the men. Phillipe claimed he did not see the second fatal fall.  

The three men were skiing together, when Ma­hendra and Cassagneau-Francis were thought to have lost control and plunged several hundred metres down the hard ter­rain before hitting com­pacted snow.  

Mahendra and Cassa­gneau-Francis are said to have been brought up in Cambridge and knew each other since childhood.  

A spokesman for the PGHM, the high mountain police in Chamonix, said: “Three British men were skiing Le Couloir Du Cha­peau. It is a steep off-piste area. The snow at the mo­ment is very hard, it is not powder skiing. The two men fell several hundred metres, within a couple of minutes of each other. 

“For sure, these men were good skiers, but the conditions are not good. An investigation has been opened into the accident.”