Alps avalanche latest: At least seven killed as skiers warned to stay off slopes

More snow forecast for coming days

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Tuesday 08 January 2019 09:52

Avalanche warnings have been issued in the Alps after several people died in weather-related accidents in Austria and southern Germany.

A 28-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman who went missing while snowshoeing were found dead near Salzburg, in central Austria, while around 40 rescuers with dogs were still searching for two others who went missing while snowshoeing near Hohenberg in Lower Austria, the Austrian news agency APA reported.

In Germany, 44-year-old man died in Wackersberg, Bavaria, when he was hit by tree branches brought down by heavy snow, police said.

Authorities also said a woman who was buried by an avalanche last week in the Uri canton of Switzerland died of her injuries on Saturday.

Also on the weekend, three skiers in Austria were killed by avalanches and one woman in Bavaria died in a weather-related accident.

The high risk of avalanches led to the closure of both the Hochkar alpine road and entire skiing region of the same name in Lower Austria. Residents and visitors were asked to leave the area by the end of the day.

Austrian authorities have warned skiers not to go of the slopes and not drive their cars unless needed.

More snow has been forecast for the coming days and the alpine country said it was getting mountaineer teams and helicopters ready for possible rescue missions.

Workers clear snow near Holzkirchen, Bavaria, after heavy snowfalls over the weekend

In Bavaria, authorities also had to close roads and some train lines because of heavy snowfall.

In some parts of southern Bavaria and the Steiermark region in Austria, schools were closed on Monday because of the weather conditions.

Elsewhere in Europe, police in Norway released the name of four skiers on Monday — a 29-year Swedish woman and three Finns, aged 29, 32 and 36 — who are presumed dead after a 300-m-wide (990-ft-wide) avalanche was reported on Wednesday in Tamok valley, near the northern city of Tromsoe.

Heavy snowfall and poor visibility had hampered rescue efforts over the past few days.

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Meanwhile, the Netherlands was bracing for strong winds.

National carrier KLM cancelled 159 flights on Tuesday to and from European destinations because Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will use only one of its runways due to the expected storm.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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