Nine winter sports enthusiasts were found unharmed and a German national was seriously injured after an avalanche in Austria on Sunday prompted major searches and raised fears of a much higher toll, rescuers said Monday. Those rescued were from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the United States.
The incident occurred at around 3:00 p.m. in the Lech Surz ski area in the Vorarlberg region (west), about 2,700 meters above sea level. Police, based on a skier’s video, initially “A dozen people were buried“. One of them managed to save, according to a spokesman, the second managed to free himself and go to the hospital.
Seven other people who appeared in the footage were eventually found safe and sound. However, one German national was seriously injured and taken to hospital, Hermann Bercher, director of the tourism office, who was in contact with the progress of operations, told AFP.
Rescuers have warned against the risk of avalanches in the region and in neighboring Tyrol this weekend, pointing to the weakening of the snowpack against a backdrop of milder weather. Several teams were assembled with helicopters and dogs. In recent years, in Austria, avalanches have caused an average of twenty deaths per year.
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