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Austria | An avalanche buried ten people



(Vienna) Eight winter sports enthusiasts have been found unharmed and two are still wanted after an avalanche in Austria triggered major searches and raised fears of a very heavy death toll, rescuers said.

The incident occurred around 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern Time) at around 2,700 meters above sea level, in the Lech Zürz ski area in the Vorarlberg region (west).

The police, based on the video of a skier, initially reported “a dozen people buried”.

One of them was saved, according to a spokesperson, while a second was able to free herself and go to the hospital.

Six other people appearing in the footage were eventually found safe and sound.

“On the other hand, we remain without news of two people and are continuing the search,” Hermann Fercher, director of the tourist office in charge of communicating on the progress of the operations, told AFP.

Helicopters and several teams accompanied by dogs were mobilized.

No information was given on the identity of the persons concerned.

Rescuers had warned this weekend against a high danger of avalanche in this area as well as in neighboring Tyrol, pointing to the fragility of the snowpack in a context of mild weather.

In recent years, in Austria, snowslides have caused an annual average of around twenty deaths.

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