2e REG: Five legionnaires killed in the Alps

On Monday, January 18, 14 legionnaires from the Foreign Legion’s 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment (2e REG) were caught by an avalanche while crossing a saddle of the Petit Argentier in the French Alps, during a mountain warfare basic training. The avalanche killed five of them. Nine legionnaires were injured, two of them seriously.

2e REG: Five legionnaires killed in the Alps

The Foreign Legion specified those killed legionnaires. From left to right: Leg. Denis Halili, aged 21, from Albania, in the Legion since June 2015; Leg. Lal Bahadur Khapangi, aged 24, from Nepal, in the Legion since August 2014; Cpl. Touré Lamarana, aged 33, from Madagascar, in the Legion since April 2008, naturalized; Leg. Gheorghe Palade, aged 21, from Moldavia, in the Legion since January 2015; Leg. 1re CL. Samuel Simi, aged 26, from Italia, in the Legion since July 2013. All of them served with the 3rd Company, 2e REG.

The sixth killed legionnaire of 2e REG - David Hetenyi

UPDATE 27.01.: The sixth legionnaire, who was among those fourteen men caught by the avalanche, died on Monday, January 25. Leg. 1re CL. David Hetenyi, aged 23, from Hungary, in the Legion since December 2014.

The accident took place at 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) near the Valfrejus ski resort, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, on the eastern border of the country, close to Switzerland and Italy. 51 legionnaires from 2e REG were involved in a military course to receive the Military Skier Certificate (Brevet de Skieur Militaire, BSM). The course was conducted in the area of the Mountain Familiarization Group (Groupement d’Aguerrissement en Montagne, GAM), a mountain warfare training unit of the French Army.

Last week, two French students and a Ukrainian tourist were killed by an avalanche in the same region.

In 2012, a Polish caporal from the 2e REG was killed by an avalanche in the French Alps during the same military course.

In March 2015, a 2e REG legionnaire died during a firing exercise.

2e REG legionnaires arriving in the Valfrejus ski resort after the accident (January 18, 2016)
2e REG legionnaires leaving the ski resort (January 18, 2016)

See more:
Valfréjus: cinq militaires morts dans une avalanche
French Foreign Legionnaires killed in Alps avalanche

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