Czech Skiers Alps Avalanche

Published: February 7, 2016

Czech Skiers Alps Avalanche, Five skiers from the Czech Republic have been killed in an avalanche at a popular Austrian resort, a police spokesman has said.

A group of 17 skiers from the Czech Republic were buried on Saturday after the 2km-wide avalanche in Wattental valley in the western Alpine region of Tirol.

Two people were injured but out of acute danger, while 10 others survived unharmed, police said.

The experienced Czech skiers were taking part in a so-called “freeride camp” and had been repeatedly warned about the avalanche danger by locals, according to regional TV station ORF.

The avalanche occurred shortly after midday near a mountain in Lizumer Hütte, local media reported. The avalanche risk level in Tirol on Saturday morning was three out of a possible five, deemed “considerable”.

Austrian TV channel ORF said there were two ski groups from the Czech Republic caught up in the snowslide, including two guides. Helicopters and search dogs were deployed to rescue the injured.

Weather conditions saw a number of other smaller avalanches take place in the region on Saturday, after recent snowfall and a slight thaw in temperature.

Several deadly avalanches have occurred throughout the winter sports season, most recently killing six French Foreign Legion soldiers in the resort of Valfrejus on 18 January.

Four days earlier, two French teenage students and a Ukrainian tourist were also killed when a teacher took the students onto a closed skiing piste at the Deux-Alpes resort. The teacher, who was seriously injured was later charged with involuntary manslaughter.

In September, seven people were killed by an avalanche in the Massif des Ecrins, one of the country’s worst snowslides in a decade. The avalanche struck three groups of roped climbers on the 13,000ft mountain.


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