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Avalanche in Austria kills three skiers from the Netherlands



An avalanche near the Austrian ski resort of Sölden has killed three skiers from the Netherlands. Another person was rescued and taken to hospital.

The victims were part of a 17-person ski touring group that was on an ascent with four Austrian guides. Ski touring involves using skis with special bindings and skins that make moving uphill possible.

The group was heading towards a mountain refuge at about 2,500 metres (8,200ft) above sea level when the avalanche, which was about 80 metres wide, hit just before 11am on Thursday.

It swept away four members of the group, two of whom were dead when rescuers found them. The two others were found injured; one was flown to hospital by helicopter and the other remained on the mountain. The skier who remained on the mountain died, a police spokesperson said later.

The Dutch foreign ministry said the country’s embassy in Vienna was investigating exactly what happened and was ready to provide assistance if needed.

The avalanche warning level in Tirol province, where Sölden is located, was “moderate”, the second level on a five-tier scale, but experts warned of the possibility of avalanches caused by loose snow.

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