Eight killed in two days after third deadly avalanche hits Austria

A police helicopter and emergency teams work at the site of an avalanche in Austria, on Feb 4, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ZURICH (REUTERS) - One person was killed and four others injured in an avalanche in western Austria on Saturday (Feb 5), police said, a day after two other avalanches killed seven skiers as heavy snowfall followed by warmer weather made for unusually dangerous conditions.

Austrian broadcaster ORF said the person killed in Saturday's avalanche in the municipality of Schmirn, in the state of Tyrol, was a 58-year-old local man.

In the same province, a 42-year-old Austrian mountain- and ski-guide and four Swedish skiers, all men in their 40s, were killed on Friday when an avalanche near the town of Spiss on the border with Switzerland buried them completely, police said.

Another member of the group, a 43-year-old Swede, was able to phone for help and was rescued, police said.

Two Austrian skiers were killed in a third incident.

Emergency services found the bodies of the two Austrian skiers, a woman aged 61 and a 60-year-old man, at 00:40am on Saturday (7.40am Singapore time) after their relatives raised the alarm when they could no longer be contacted, police said.

The pair had set out in the Tyrol region on Friday afternoon and the man told a contact by phone at 3,30pm that they had reached the 1,868m Breitegg peak. That was their last contact.

"After they could no longer be reached, relatives made an emergency call at around 9.40pm," police said in a statement.

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