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Two more missing winter athletes after avalanche in Austria

After the avalanche in the Austrian ski resort of Lech Zürs am Arlberg, two people were still missing on Sunday evening.

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Two more missing winter athletes after avalanche in Austria

After the avalanche in the Austrian ski resort of Lech Zürs am Arlberg, two people were still missing on Sunday evening. Eight winter sports enthusiasts got off lightly, said Hermann Fercher from the operations center of the AFP news agency. At first it was assumed that there were possibly ten buried people.

The avalanche search dogs and helicopters were used to search for the victims. According to the community, almost 200 helpers were on duty in the evening, who took part in the search on the avalanche cone. In order to be able to continue the search for the buried people in the dark, searchlights were also requested.

A lot of snow had fallen in the high alpine terrain in the past few days. According to the police, spring-like conditions prevailed in the Arlberg ski area on Sunday. At the same time, according to the avalanche warning service, the avalanche danger was considerable. According to the Austrian news agency APA, the avalanche went off around 3 p.m. in the area of ​​the 2,720-meter-high Trittkopf, foothills even reached the ski slope.

It is extremely rare for avalanches to reach slopes that are considered safe, but it cannot be ruled out. Three years ago, a woman and two seven-year-old girls died in South Tyrol when a huge slab of snow broke loose at an altitude of 3,000 meters in Schnalstal and thundered down onto the slope. In Andermatt, Switzerland, there was also an incident in December 2019 in which masses of snow buried six skiers on the piste. But the misfortune ended lightly.

Surviving in an avalanche is actually only possible for a short period of time. Victims suffocate under the packed snow or succumb to their injuries. In individual cases, however, victims are lucky and there is a cavity in front of their face that allows them to breathe. Under these circumstances, winter sports enthusiasts were rescued alive even after several hours.

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