Thursday, 12. December 2013 - 07:12
25. 04. 12. - 08:00
Swiss officials who want to house dozens of asylum seekers in an abandoned hotel in an avalanche zone have come under fire from human rights campaigners.
The remote Hotel Bellevue - half way up a mountain in Simplon-Dorf - has been empty since it was abandoned by its owners after an avalanche in 2008.
Former region governor Werner Zenklusen said: "It has been the victim of five avalanches that I know of and is in the blue zone, an area of high risk."
"In 1975 an avalanche struck the hotel that was so severe it reached the first floor, smashing through the windows," he added.
Now immigration officials want to make the hotel a hostel for up to 60 asylum seekers after fixing up a rental agreement at a bargain price.
They have also reportedly signed a five-year contract with the hotel's owner, says local media.
One campaigner said: "This place is not safe to live in. There are asylum problems in Switzerland but putting asylum seekers under an avalanche is not the answer."
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