THE teenage girl who died after falling from a ski lift during a school trip to the Italian Alps was “a beautiful girl” who will be “dearly missed”, friends said on Twitter yesterday.
The 13-year-old, named in reports as Poonam Bhattal from Slough, is said to have fallen 16ft onto the piste in the resort of Claviere on Friday morning.
She was having ski lessons with classmates from the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, Middlesex, when she boarded the chairlift at around 9.30am.
Although she initially survived the fall, she died on her way to a hospital 25 miles away in Susa, according to Sky News.
Those who knew the girl took to Twitter to pay tribute to her.
One user, @jaskiretxo, said: “Poonam Bhattal a beautiful girl who we were all so lucky to have known, may our thoughts be with Amreeta and her family. RIP beautiful xox”.
Another, @TharanVirdi, posted a photo of a girl wearing black-rimmed glasses, and said: “Poonam, You will be dearly missed, thoughts and prayers go out to your family. Waheguru #gonetoosoon #RipPoonam x”.
Police commissioner Francesco Destro told Sky News: “The ski lift was moving very fast and rising fast when she fell.”
He said he could not recall a similar accident having happened.
Destro added that the girl initially answered questions when officers rushed to her aid but “did not make it”.
Police have launched an investigation and are due to question the teenager’s classmates, who boarded the lift with her.
The school’s principal, Rajinder Singh Sandhu, broke the news of the teenager’s death to her family.
In a statement, he said the half-term excursion was led by the vice principal of the school with the help of two assistant head teachers and “a massively experienced team of eight staff”.
A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm the death of a British National on Friday in Italy.
“We are providing consular assistance at this sad time.”