Alps snow: Avalanche kills three skiers near Lech, Austria

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Alps snow: Avalanche kills three skiers near Lech, Austria

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Austria has seen record snowfall this week, raising avalanche warnings (file picture)

Three men have been killed in an avalanche near the Austrian ski resort of Lech am Arlberg, local police say.

The search for a fourth person, declared as missing, had to be halted due to the ongoing avalanche risk.

The group came from southern Germany and were reported missing by one of their wives on Saturday night.

In France, two employees at the Morillon ski resort died when the avalanche-control charges they were trying to set accidentally went off.

The accident took place at an altitude of 1,800m (6,000ft) as the two men were preparing the pistes ahead of their opening with an avalanche prevention programme, mountain rescuers said.

Weather forecasters had warned of a high risk of avalanches in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions following fresh overnight snowfall.

  • Snow brings parts of Europe to standstill

The three dead German men, aged 32, 36 and 57, were found at about 23:00 (22:00 GMT) on Saturday.

Police in the western province of Vorarlberg said they were located through mobile phone tracking, near the Langer Zug slope – one of the steepest in the world.

It had been closed due to dangerous conditions.

The men were wearing touring skis, which are used to climb uphill slopes and ski off-piste.

The three victims bring the number of weather-related deaths in parts of Europe this month to at least 24, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSnow brings parts of Europe to standstill

Austria has seen record snowfall, with more forecast for the weekend. Soldiers, firefighters, and volunteers have been battling to clear cut-off roads and rooftops during breaks in the weather.

On Friday, troops airlifted 66 German students and teachers to safety, after they became stranded at the Kasberg ski station in Grünau.

The same day, the Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the south German state of Bavaria, and a nine-year-old boy was killed near Munich when a tree collapsed under the weight of snow.

Skip Twitter post by @bbcweather

Some have seen 3 times their normal January snowfall already, but after a bit of a respite in Austria and southern Germany, there's more heavy #snow to come – especially through tonight and into tomorrow. Matt pic.twitter.com/eTfQeEhv8X

— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) January 12, 2019

Report

End of Twitter post by @bbcweather

In Switzerland, an avalanche hit the restaurant of the Hotel Säntis in Schwägalp, injuring three people.

Local reports said the avalanche had been 300m (984ft) wide when it came down the nearby mountain pass.

A Nasa graphic tweeted by BBC Weather showed how the geography of Europe has shaped the snow's progress.

"Little to no snow has fallen on the Italian side of the Alps," meteorologist Matt Taylor noted. "The sheer scale of the Alps has blocked the snow-bearing clouds making it over."

Skip Twitter post 2 by @bbcweather

Too much #snow on the northern side of the #Alps recently, but check out this NASA satellite image from yesterday.
Little to no snow has fallen on the Italian side of the Alps. The sheer scale of the Alps have blocked the snow-bearing clouds making it over. #foehneffect Matt pic.twitter.com/GQGkFYWA5q

— BBC Weather (@bbcweather) January 12, 2019

Report

End of Twitter post 2 by @bbcweather

Are you in Austria? If it is safe for you to do so please email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your experiences of the bad weather.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285
  • Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk
  • Or Upload your pictures/video here
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Send an SMS or MMS to +44 7624 800 100
  • Please read our terms & conditions and privacy policy

Or use the form below

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.