Death toll of off-piste skiiers in Swiss Alps rises to 11

A haoudout picture taken and provided by the police of the Swiss Canton of Graubuenden on Saturday near Seewis, eastern Switzerland, shows Rescuers at the site of an avalanche that hit nine skiers on the Piz Vilan mountain at an altitude of some 2,20
A haoudout picture taken and provided by the police of the Swiss Canton of Graubuenden on Saturday near Seewis, eastern Switzerland, shows Rescuers at the site of an avalanche that hit nine skiers on the Piz Vilan mountain at an altitude of some 2,200 meters. -- PHOTO: AFP 

GENEVA (AFP) - Eleven people have died in off-piste skiing accidents in the Swiss Alps despite repeated avalanche warnings over the past four days, police said Sunday.

Nine skiers were hit by an avalanche on Saturday on the Piz Vilan mountain, of whom five died.

Also Saturday, a 31-year-old Swiss man was killed by an avalanche while he was skiing off-piste in the Bernese Oberland, and in the same area a 28-year-old Swiss snowboarder was engulfed by snow and died.

In another fatal accident, in Wildhaus near the Austrian border, a 26-year-old skiing off-piste provoked a snow slide that sent him over a cliff, police said.

Another three off-piste skiers died Thursday and Friday.

Up to 1.2 metres of snow has fallen in the region in recent days.