The woman suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and was being transported from the alpine village of Sestriere when the ambulance was stuck for around half an hour behind a collapsed tree and snow on the road.

“We should have arrived at the hospital in 15 minutes, a difficult time even with a clear road,” Carlo Florindi, president of the Red Cross in nearby Bardonecchia, said.

The woman was revived several times in the ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.