Outrage as 2 Swiss mountaineers land plane on Mont Blanc

Magnificent Mont Blanc glacier with Lac Blanc viewpoint. (Shutterstock)
Updated 19 June 2019

Outrage as 2 Swiss mountaineers land plane on Mont Blanc

  • Police intercepted the two Swiss mountaineers to get their identity and asked them to turn back
  • Mont Blanc is crawling with thousands of climbers during the summer months, aiming to reach the 4,809 meter summit

ANNECY, France: Two Swiss mountaineers landed a small plane less than 400 meters from the summit of Mont Blanc on Tuesday before heading for the top of Europe’s tallest peak with police in pursuit, the French gendarme said.
The pair landed the aircraft at 4,450 meters (14,600-feet) on the famous mountain in the French Alps in an incident described as a “provocation” by the mayor of the nearby Chamonix resort, Eric Fournier.
“It constitutes an intolerable attack on the high mountain environment and on all existing protective measures,” Fournier said, describing the behavior as “unprecedented.”
Police saw the plane on the east face of Mont Blanc, Lt. Col. Stephane Bozon, who heads the gendarmerie’s mountain rescue service in Chamonix, told AFP.
The area, officials said, is not an authorized landing zone.
Police intercepted the two Swiss mountaineers to get their identity and asked them to turn back.
The pair were allowed to take off.
Bozon said they were reflecting on what offense had been committed.
Mont Blanc is crawling with thousands of climbers during the summer months, aiming to reach the 4,809 meter summit.
Officials have been grappling with a surge in adventure-seeking tourists — some without sufficient equipment or experience — hoping to scale the mountain during the summer season.
The increase in numbers has led to some people camping illegally and concerns over sanitary risks such as water availability and problems with waste disposal.


Hawaii thieves cart off $1,000 worth of durian

Updated 17 February 2020

Hawaii thieves cart off $1,000 worth of durian

  • Durian is known for a pale yellow flesh with a sweet taste but a smell described as worse
  • Popular across Southeast Asia but commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transportation there

HONOLULU: Police in Hawaii are investigating the theft of fruit valued at about $1,000 including durian, which is known for its powerful odor.
Two men entered a property in Hilo on the Big Island and removed 18 durian and other types of fruit on the night of Feb. 1, the Hawaii Police Department said.
Authorities released a surveillance camera image of two suspects and asked the public for additional information that could lead to the capture of the fruit bandits.

Authorities released a surveillance image of two suspects involved in a fruit theft in Hilo. (Hawaii Police Department)


The tropical, spiky durian fruit resembles a small porcupine and typically weighs from 2 to 7 pounds (1 to 3 kilograms).
Durian is known for a pale yellow flesh with a sweet taste but a smell that has been compared to moldy cheese, rotten onions, dead fish and far worse.
Durian is popular across Southeast Asia but also is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transportation there.
The smell of rotting durian in a cupboard was mistaken for a gas leak and prompted an evacuation of a library at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia in April 2018.