Investigations Underway After 8 Dead in 3 Separate Avalanches in Austria

In the worst incident 5 people died near the town of Spiss in the Tirol near the Swiss border.  The people caught were a group of Swedish ski tourers. Investigations are underway into all three fatal avalanches. UPDATED

The tragedies followed the heavy snow of the past week that was accompanied by high winds.

In the worst incident near Spiss the people hit were ski tourers who were with a mountain guide.

A sixth person was rescued and has been taken to hospital.

The survivor, who is 43- years old, was only partially buried and was able to alert a friend using his mobile phone.

The friend then contacted the emergency services.

The people who died were four Swedish skiers and a local mountain guide.

The group had set off from the resort of Ischgl.

The avalanche was around 400m wide and is reported to have broken off above the group as they were on the slope beneath the break.

The rescue services in a helicopter spotted an avalanche air bag sticking out of the snow and alerted the team on the ground who were able to find the group.

At least 31 separate avalanches have been reported on Friday in the area.

Rescue team from Austria and Switzerland were deployed in the incident near Spiss.

Details of the other two incidents have not been released.

One person was killed and four others injured in an avalanche in western Austria on Saturday.

The accident happened in the municipality of Schmirn, in the Tirol.

The deceased person is reported to be a 58-year-old local man.

Two Austrian skiers were killed in a second accident.

Emergency services found the bodies of an Austrian woman aged 61 and a 60-year-old man.

Their relatives raised the alarm when they did not return home and could not be contacted.

This past week there has been a Level 4 avalanche alert, on a scale of 5, in the Tirol.

It means there is a “high” chance of avalanches.

Image c/o lawin.at

Image c/o lawin.at

The avalanche danger is now down to 3, which means there is “considerable” risk.

We will be updating this report later as the details on the avalanche accidents become clearer.

An avalanche in the resort of Soelden in the Tirol went across a piste and buried 5 people.

All were rescued.

There is no indication how the avalanche was caused.

Anyone skiing should exercise caution and those skiing off piste should have the correct safety equipment, know how to use it and follow the rules.

Investigations into all the accidents are now underway.

Image © PlanetSKI