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INVESTIGATIONS INTO FATAL AVALANCHES IN AUSTRIA

At least six people have died in two separate avalanches in the Austrian Alps.  Five were killed in a single incident. 

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The five, believed to be Czech nationals, were killed while snowshoeing up to a summit at Dachstein near Schladming on Sunday morning.

They were at about 2,800 metres altitude near the Seethaler Hütte when the avalanche struck.

They were buried under a metre of snow.

The avalanche is reported to have been between 150 and 200 metres wide and 400 metres long.

The landlord of the Seethaler Hütte, who is a member of the mountain rescue service, saw it happen and called for help.

He immediately started searching with avalanche transceivers with others who were nearby.

Seven helicopters were used to take rescuers to the site to help search for those missing.

Approximately 170 people were involved in the operation, with 100 probing the site to find those buried.

Dachstein avalanche 8 March 2020 (c) BRD Ramsau Christopher Perhab

Search operation – photo BRD Ramsau Christopher Perhab

“The avalanche happened on the northern side of the Dachstein, just under the entry point Rankluft,” the head of operations for the local mountain rescue team, Heribert Eisl, said

The avalanche happened just before 9.30am.

Five bodies were recovered, the last of which was found at 11am.

Those who died were three women aged 27, 30 and 37, and two men, aged 28 and 46.

The Upper Austrian provincial police said the victims were not wearing avalanche transceivers.

Dachstein avalanche 8 March 2020 - photo BRD Christoper Perhab

Dachstein avalanche – photo BRD Ramsau Christoper Perhab

“Our deepest sympathy goes to the relatives, we wish you much strength in the coming time,” the mountain rescue team, Bergrettung Ramsau am Dachstein said.

In a separate avalanche a 33-year-old police officer believed to be on a training exercise died in an avalanche on the Grossglockner peak in the Carinthia region.

PHOTOS: Bergrettung Ramsau am Dachstein mountain rescue team/Christopher Perhab

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