Fresh ski tragedy for Austria as avalanche buries unknown number

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The Independent Online

An unknown number of people are believed to have been buried by an avalanche Sunday in the western Austrian province of Tyrol, according to local media reports.

An unknown number of people are believed to have been buried by an avalanche Sunday in the western Austrian province of Tyrol, according to local media reports.

Early reports said as many as five people could be buried under the snow mass, but no exact figure was known. The search has concentrated on the Rosskar ski area.

Police from the small community of Obergurgl 215 miles west of Vienna, have mounted a search for survivors, the Austria Press Agency reported. The tiny resort is very isolated and is situated almost on the Austrian border with Italy, south of the city of Innsbruck.

Around 60 people from the regional mountain rescue service, together with specially trained mountain dogs were involved in the search. Tourists and skiers were reported to be helping in the effort.

No other information was immediately available.

The avalanche follows on the heels of Austria's biggest ski disaster last weekend when 155, mostly young people and children, died in a fire on a funicular train, inside a tunnel in the Kitzsteinhorn Mountain at the resort of Kaprun in the province of Salzburg.

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