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austria: Nine dead as hundred avalanches roll over Austria

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Nine people died in three days of more than 100 avalanches rolling across Austria, authorities said Sunday.

Most of the avalanches hit the western Tyrol region and Friday alone saw five fatalities, rescue services said.

Police said that incident had claimed the lives of a group of Swedish skiers going off-piste with a mountain guide in the zone around Ischgl, near the Swiss border.

The monitor and four of the group were swept away with just one group member surviving. He managed to call for help and was airlifted out by helicopter.

Also Friday, a man aged 60 and his wife of 61 were engulfed while cross country skiing near the village of Auffach, Tyrol police said.

Saturday then saw an Austrian aged 58 killed at Schirmn near Innsbruck in an avalanche which injured four others.

Further west, an experienced skier of 43 was killed in the popular Vorarlberg region as Austria saw exceptional quantities of snow fall going into and across the weekend.

Five winter sports enthusiasts were buried by snowfall in the major resort of Soelden but were all rescued.

“The past three days have seen some 100 avalanche-type incidents requiring 70 interventions,”Tyroo regional authorities said Sunday, dubbing the situation “unprecedented” and warning of more to come.

Recent years have seen avalanches claim around 20 lives a year in Austria, fewer over the past two years after the pandemic vastly reduced skier numbers.

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