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Four dead and one missing after avalanche in Austrian Alps

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Four people have died and one other is missing after an avalanche in the Alps near the Swiss-Austrian border.

The avalanche happened in the Austrian town of Spiss, close to the Swiss border in Tyrol province, the local emergency control centre confirmed this afternoon.

At least 31 separate avalanches have been reported as of Friday, officials said.

Cross country skiers in Tyrol province in January 2021 Pic: AP /Matthias Schrader
Image:
Cross country skiers in Tyrol province in January 2021 Pic: AP /Matthias Schrader

Four have left people injured – including one avalanche which swept down a ski piste at the resort of Soelden, where five people have been rescued, said the supervisor of Tyrol’s emergency services control centre, Patrick Ortler.

Another deluge in the valley of Zillertal also left people hurt, authorities confirmed.

The identities and nationalities of the four people who died, and the fifth missing person, have not yet been revealed.

Zillertal alps Pic: Daniel Karmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Image:
Another avalanche in the Zillertal Alps has left people hurt Pic: Daniel Karmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Austrian and Swiss helicopters have been deployed to the area, where there has been heavy snowfall.

An avalanche in central Austria in December last year claimed the lives of three skiers including promising teenage motocross star, Rene Hofer.

The 19-year-old was among 11 skiers, eight of whom were hit by a 200-metre (655ft) wall of snow during a tour in Twenge, Salzburg province.

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