Avalanche kills five skiers in the Austrian Alps

Innsbruck, Austrian Alps

FIVE Czech skiers have lost their lives in a ‘massive’ avalanche, while skiing in a resort in western Austria, 25 miles from Innsbruck.

The tragic incident happened shortly before midday on February 6 in the Wattener Lizum region of the Austrian Alps.

A total of 17 skiers were caught up in the deadly snow slide. Helicopter rescue teams with search dogs attended and dug them out of the snow.

The Austrian TV channel ORF reported that two ski groups from the Czech Republic had been among the 17. All five who died have since been confirmed as Czech.

A spokesperson for the Tirol police said that two people were injured and had to be taken to a hospital. No details of their condition have been released as of yet.

Since recent snowfall, the region has experienced a slight thaw. On Saturday morning, the avalanche risk level in that part of the Austrian Alps was given as “considerable”.

Those who lost their lives on Saturday are not the first to do so this ski season. In January 2016, the Valfrejus avalanche claimed the lives of six soldiers on a training exercise. The Deux-Alpes resort was also hit, and saw two French teenagers and a Ukranian tourist killed when skiing on a previously closed piste. 

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