Two skiers die in avalanche in Austrian Alps


An avalanche in the Tyrolean Alps has killed two German skiers, Austrian police confirmed after the second victim was found under the snow on Saturday.

The accident occurred Friday as the two young men from Bavaria skied a steep slope on the Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain.

They were off piste when an avalanche that was 100 metre wide and 400 metres long came crashing down and buried them.

After the two did not arrive at an agreed meeting point, a friend alerted rescue services, who found one of the skiers under two metres of snow.

They were not able to resuscitate the 25-year-old man.

Some 70 mountain rescuers continued to search for his 26-year-old colleague on Saturday even though the risk for further avalanches on the slope remained acute, said police officer Franz Riepler, who coordinated the search.

At around 9:30 am (0830 GMT) they located a signal from his avalanche beeper, which helps rescue workers to locate people trapped under snow.

"The emergency medic could confirm that he was dead," Riepler told dpa.

A "considerable" avalanche warning was in force at the time of the accident, which is level three on the five-level warning scale.

At such an alert level, skiers are not supposed to ski slopes that are steeper than 35 degrees. Police were investigating on Saturday whether the accident slope was steeper than that.

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