The alert was given late in the evening at 10:27 p.m. Thursday 10 March. Rescue gendarmes, firefighters, doctors and part of the Chamonix town hall staff were mobilized for most of the night until 4 a.m. on Friday 11 March.
Equipped with devices allowing the measurement of the concentration of carbon monoxide, the doctor of the Pays du Mont-Blanc hospital, dispatched on the spot by helicopter, quickly noted that the toxic gas exceeded the thresholds of alert.
Several people intoxicated, including one seriously
According to Le Dauphiné, six people were directly airlifted to Sallanches hospital. On the other hand, a 50-year-old woman in absolute emergency was taken to Geneva hospital to be placed in a hyperbaric chamber.
17 others were taken care of by firefighters upon their arrival at the DZ des Bois. Six other of these mountaineers and skiers were relocated by the town hall.
Only the hut-keeper Fred Laurenzio, after consulting the doctor, was able to stay in his refuge, which had to close its doors at least for today Friday 11 March.
Firefighters are tasked at the moment with identifying the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning that may have come from restarting a stove. Their report will make it possible to decide on the reopening of this refuge, which had just opened six days ago.
Source: @Le Dauphiné Libéré
Argentière Hut - Google maps
The Argentiere Hut offers some of the most impressive views in the valley of Chamonix, including the north face of Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Verte Mont Dolent. This refuge is often used for trails between Argentiere and Zermatt, also known as the Haute Route.
The refuge is usually open between late February/March and May for people who are ski touring, as well as June to September/October for hikers, climbers and mountaineers.