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Austria avalanche
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Four skiers dead in Austria avalanche

16/03/17Environment

Police have said that four people were killed when a large avalanche swept away a ski group in the Austrian Alps.

The avalanche hit the remote Jochgrubenkopf peak in the Tyrol region at around 12:30 CET.

According to Austrian reports it engulfed a group of eight foreign tourists, but four managed to free themselves and seek help.

Three bodies were found quickly but rescuers searched for several hours before locating the fourth body buried deep in the snow.

Local reports said the ski group was visiting from Switzerland.

Rudi Mair from the Tyrol avalanche warning service said “tonnes of snow” had come down the 2,400m mountain. The avalanche was said to have been around 700m long.

The alert level at the time had been quite low.

However, Mair told Austrian broadcaster ORF that the avalanche had been triggered by a small amount of fresh snow on top of several, unstable layers of old snow.

Officials said that 14 people in Austria have died in avalanche accidents this winter.

Pan European Networks Ltd