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Six killed in avalanche near Alpine ski resort

Latest update : 2009-05-03

An avalanche near the Austrian Alpine ski resort of Soelden has killed at least six people. Rescue services told the Austrian APA news service they had recovered the bodies of the victims.

REUTERS - Six mountain climbers were killed in an avalanche near the major ski resort of Soelden in the Austrian Alps at the weekend, regional police said on Sunday.

 

Witnesses spotted the snowslide in rugged highlands on Saturday and alerted alpine rescuers but they could not reach the scene until Sunday due to poor weather, police in the Tirol provincial capital of Innsbruck said.

 

A police official said rescuers retrieved the bodies of six climbers who had been ascending the 3,500-metre Schalfkogel peak in an isolated region southwest of Innsbruck between Soelden and Obergurgl ski resorts close to the border of Italy.

 

The only survivor in their group was a middle-aged Czech man who had opted to remain behind in a hut, and it was believed the victims were all from the Czech Republic.

 

The Austrian Alps received unusually heavy snowfall this winter and avalanches have been frequent and sometimes fatal, killing mainly individual skiers who had ventured off patrolled slopes to tackle deep powder drop-offs.

Date created : 2009-05-03