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Fresh Avalanche Warnings as Two People Die in Switzerland

Two men died in Switzerland and others were caught in separate slides in Austria but were rescued. With the busy half-term week underway the danger is ‘considerable’ in places with caution urged. UPDATED

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The two people who died were local men who were aged 56-years old and 31-years old.

The accident happened on Saturday in Sachseln, in the canton of Obwalden.

They were away from the marked ski runs ski touring on a north-eastern slope at an altitude of 1,960m.

The authorities were alerted by family when they failed to return home at the end of the day.

“Two local ski tourers were hit and swept away by a snow avalanche yesterday while climbing north of the Wandelen,’ said the police in a statement.

They are said to have been experienced ski tourers.

“According to initial findings, the two ski tourers got caught in a snow avalanche during the ascent, which released above,” said the police.

They were pronounced dead in hospital.

An investigation by the Obwalden public prosecutor’s office and the cantonal police is underway.

Image c/o Obwalden Cantonal Police.

Image c/o Obwalden Cantonal Police.

The Swiss Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research said on Monday that “considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area” of Switzerland.

In the latest accident there was a Level 3 danger level.

So far this winter in Switzerland there have been 75 avalanches involving people.

101 people have been caught and there have been 10 deaths.

7 of the deaths were when the risk was Level 3.

Image c/o The Swiss  Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research

Image c/o The Swiss Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research

In Austria on Sunday a man was skiing alone near the Schafseitenspitze in the Wipptal valley.

He was rescued with serious injuries and taken to hospital according to the police.

On Saturday an avalanche on the Kaunertal glacier caught a 36-year-old Austrian woman.

Her companion alerted the emergency services and she was rescued.

Last week in the Tirol there was an unprecedented number of avalanche incidents after heavy snow and strong winds.

We reported on it at the time:

13 people died in avalanches the weekend before last at the height of the danger across parts of the Alps.

All people skiing or snowboarding off piste are urged to have all the correct safety equipment and know how to use it.

They should study the weather forecasts/avalanche bulletins and obey all the rules.

Image © PlanetSKI

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