Four people have been killed after an avalanche at a ski resort in the Austrian Alps, police have said. The skiers were part of a group of eight out in a remote part of a resort near Tirol when the avalanche struck around 12.30pm local time. The group had been able to access the remote region by using back country touring skis.
The dead are all reported to be Swiss nationals but this has not been confirmed. Three bodies were located quickly and a fourth was found some hours later after an extensive search. The other four in the group managed to free themselves and alert the rescue services.
Rudi Mair from the Tyrol avalanche warning service said “tonnes of snow” had come down and the area was “extremely steep”. Rescuers had used snow drilling machines to try to rescue the fourth man in the remote area near the Jochgrubenkopf, a roughly 2,450m-high peak, but found him, buried 10 meters deep in snow.
According to the BBC, Rudi Mair from the Tirol Avalanche Warning Service said tonnes of snow had come down in an extremely steep area. Jochbrubenkofp is at 2,450 metres in the Zillertal Alps to the south east of Innsbruck.
The avalanche had been triggered by a small amount of fresh snow that had fallen on top of several, unstable layers of old snow. It is thought recent warm temperatures may have played a part too.