Two young American ski racers die in Austrian avalanche

VIENNA (REUTERS) - Two young ski racers training with the United States development-level ski team were killed in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps on Monday, the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) said on its website.

Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19, were caught by the avalanche while free-skiing in Soelden, in the Tyrol region, USSA said in a statement. Four other team members skiing with them survived.

Berlack, from Franconia, New Hampshire, had been on the US development team since 2013 and Astle, from Sandy, Utah, had been invited to train with it this season.

The Austrian broadcaster ORF said neither man was wearing avalanche emergency gear.

The danger level on the mountain at the time was rated at three on a scale of five, meaning there was a "considerable" risk of avalanche, according to the Austrian news agency APA.