Italy evacuates dozens from Alpine hotel threatened by avalanche

ROME (REUTERS) - Italy used helicopters on Tuesday (Jan 23) to airlift almost 100 tourists and staff from an Alpine hotel near the border with Austria because of a high risk of avalanche, an army spokesman said.

Record amounts of snow in recent days had made it impossible to leave the area by road, and the hotel had lost power.

Army and finance police helicopters were among those used in the evacuation.

A year ago a massive avalanche razed a hotel in central Italy, killing 29.

In Switzerland, hosting the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, authorities went on avalanche alert on Monday after fresh snow smothered much of the Alps.

The accumulation of snow was the highest since 1999.