'Massive' Avalanche Kills 5 Skiers in Austrian Alps

Two others were injured
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2016 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Police in Austria say five people were killed Saturday when a "massive" avalanche in the Austrian Alps struck skiers from the Czech Republic taking part in a freeriding camp, the AP reports. Two other skiers were injured and 10 were rescued unharmed, Tirol police spokesperson Helmut Schuetz said. He said the skiers were moving in two separate groups of 12 and five when the avalanche hit them around noon local time in the Wattener Lizum region.

"It was one massive avalanche, several hundred meters wide and long," Schuetz said, adding that the tear point, where the slab of snow broke off from the mountain, was 3 feet deep. "It was many tons of snow." Authorities had warned that the risk of avalanches in the region was "considerable," the third highest on a five-point scale.

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