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Investigation After Three Dead in Austria Avalanche

Three ski tourers died and another was injured last Friday in an avalanche in the Oetscher area in Lower Austria. It’s emerged that the group included members of mountain rescue and alpine police. UPDATED

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“Four people were swept away. Rescuers were able to get to one of them who was taken to hospital in a serious condition,” a spokesman for the rescue authorities said.

The slide took place at around 11.30am at 1,893m near the commune of Gaming.

There has been no recent snow, but the temperatures have risen recently making some slopes heavy and unstable.

According to report in Tiroler Tageszeitung, among the four were members of mountain rescue and alpine police.

Three were completely buried by the avalanche and had already died when they were found.

The injured person has been identified as a member of the 144 Notruf Niederösterreich mountain rescue organisation based in Sankt Pölten.

“In the tragic avalanche accident just on the Ötscher, the employee responsible for the pager network technology and system maintenance at Notruf NÖ was seriously injured,” the organisation said in a Facebook post.

“Three other mountain comrades lost their lives. We are infinitely sad, but full of hope that Chrisu will make it and that he will get better soon. Our sympathy goes to the relatives, friends and comrades of the mountain rescue service.

“Thanks to all the forces deployed from mountain rescue, air rescue and flight police for your commitment … of course also to dispatchers and supervisors with us.”

Beim tragischen Lawinenunglück eben am Ötscher wurde der für die Pagernetztechnik und Systemwartung verantwortliche…

Posted by 144 NOTRUF NIEDERÖSTERREICH on Friday, 11 March 2022

A search for other possible victims, involving several helicopters and avalanche detection dogs, was called off on Friday afternoon.

There was no evidence of any further victims.

Investigations are being carried out.

The local authorities said the first indications were that the slide released spontaneously.

The ski tourers were all well-equipped and there was a low avalanche risk of 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 on Friday across the whole of Lower Austria.

 

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