German skiers killed in avalanche, 4th missing

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 14, 2019

Police say three German skiers have been killed in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps and a fourth is missing.

The bodies of the men - aged 57, 36 and 32 - were recovered in the afternoon after the wife of one of them filed a missing person's report and their phones were tracked.

Over the weekend three men were killed in an avalanche near the ski resort of Lech am Arlberg.

The deaths of the German skiers came after an Australian teenager died in an avalanche on Wednesday while on a skiing holiday with his family in Austria.

A search for the missing German skier in the group, age 28, had to be called off because of heavy snow and the risk of avalanches.

Police said the friends had apparently skied on to a trail that was closed.

The victims suffered multiple injuries despite being equipped with avalanche protection gear that deployed airbags. They were located with the help of cellphone tracking.

In France, the Haute-Savoie region's high mountain gendarmerie said the two ski patrollers were killed on Sunday morning in Morillon before ski slopes were opened to the public.

They were working with the explosives when the accident happened, local police said following an initial investigation.

Some 500 soldiers have been drafted in to clear roads and roofs in the most heavily affected areas, and a further 1,000 soldiers are on standby, the government said.

In the Bavarian town of Kempten, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution because the weight of snow on their roofs was expected to increase.

Balderschwang, a small Alpine resort on Germany's border with Austria, was cut off on Sunday as the pass leading into it was closed for fear of avalanches.

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