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High warning level in the Alps: snowplough driver dead from avalanche


Despite the second highest warning level in the Alps, many people ski off the ski slopes. In the meantime, several of them have died in avalanches, two are still missing. In East Tyrol, the snow tore a vehicle with it.

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Switzerland: Barrier due to avalanche danger

Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott / picture alliance / dpa / KEYSTONE

Several people have died in avalanches in Austria and Switzerland since Friday.

As the police in the Swiss canton of Graubünden announced, two skiers were off the slopes on Saturday morning and were caught by an avalanche.

A third member of the group was unharmed.

The two dead are a 56-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man.

The rescue operation had to be temporarily interrupted due to poor visibility and bad weather conditions.

Two people were rescued dead from avalanches in Austria on Sunday.

In East Tyrol it was the driver of a snow plow, as the police confirmed.

The vehicle was caught in an avalanche and carried away.

According to the police, a lifeless person was discovered in an avalanche in the Kaunertal in Tyrol.

The victim is probably a missing 62-year-old ski tourer.

Despite warnings of a high risk of avalanches, some skiers have left the secured slopes, sometimes with fatal consequences.

A young winter sports enthusiast died on Saturday in Kaltenbach in the Zillertal, Austria, as a police spokesman in the state of Tyrol told the AFP news agency.

According to the Austrian news agency APA, it was a 17-year-old New Zealander who was off-piste.

On Saturday morning, a 55-year-old German who had been missing since Friday evening was found dead under an avalanche in the Kleinwalsertal in the state of Vorarlberg.

A 32-year-old Chinese skier died in an avalanche in Sölden in the Ötztal (Tyrol) on Friday.

He, too, is said to have skied outside the marked slopes.

Two missing in St. Anton, injured in the Arlberg and in Kitzbühel

Despite the warning level four on the five-digit scale in western Austria, according to APA, numerous winter sports enthusiasts were outdoors.

Several people were therefore buried and injured when leaving.

"People are very irresponsible on the go and always in the free ski area - they just don't believe it," said a spokesman for the authorities in Vorarlberg.

According to the authorities, the search for a 29-year-old ski guide and his 33-year-old Austrian guest continued in St. Anton am Arlberg on Sunday.

Because of the high risk of avalanches, the search had been interrupted the day before.

Also on the Arlberg, a 15-year-old winter athlete was rescued alive on Saturday after an avalanche off the piste after fifteen minutes under the snow and flown to the hospital.

Also in the Kitzbühel district, a 15-year-old was swept away by an avalanche and seriously injured.

more on the subject

  • Snowfall in the south: weather service warns of avalanche danger in the Alps

  • After days of snowfall in Japan: Avalanche kills ex-halfpipe world champion Kyle Smaine

  • Dangerous situation in Austria: at least three dead in avalanches

In the Bavarian Alps, heavy snowfalls have also increased the risk of avalanches dangerously.

In some areas, level four out of five prevails - this means great danger, said the avalanche warning center in the Bavarian State Office for the Environment on Friday.

Away from the pistes, extreme caution is required.

Avalanches could go off by themselves without any additional load - or be triggered by a single winter sports enthusiast.

The new and snowdrift connects poorly with the old snowpack.

Last Tuesday, two ski tourers were buried by an avalanche on the Zugspitze.

The group of three was climbing when a slab of snow came loose.

One of the buried people was able to free himself and dug up the other ski tourer with his comrade.

After around ten minutes, they were able to free the buried person from the masses of snow.

He was taken to a hospital with hypothermia.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-02-05

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