Five dead in tragedies on Alps

Mercury (Hobart) - - WORLD -

SNOW has con­tin­ued to plague the re­gions sur­round­ing the Euro­pean Alps, with five deaths re­ported in Aus­tria and France as fore­casts pre­dicted more bad weather.

Of­fi­cials in Aus­tria have re­ported three Ger­mans died and one was miss­ing after they went ski­ing near the city of Lech. They were struck by an avalanche after they went on a route that had been put of­flim­its due to such dan­gers.

Au­thor­i­ties were still search­ing for a fourth man, a 28- year- old from south­ern Ger­many. The de­ceased were iden­ti­fied as men, aged 32, 36 and 57, also from south­ern Ger­many. The dead had suf­fered mul­ti­ple in­juries and showed signs of suf­fo­ca­tion, de­spite de­ploy­ing res­cue airbags.

The search for the fourth man had to be bro­ken off on Sun­day due to the risk of more avalanches.

In France, two ski slope em­ploy­ees died while us­ing ex­plo­sives as part of a com­mon pro­ce­dure to min­imise the chance of avalanches. The two men died when the blast went off un­ex­pect­edly.

The tragedies come less than a week after Aus­tralian Max Meyer, 16, died in an avalanche in Aus­tria.

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