Austria avalanches claim four lives

VIENNA (AFP) – Avalanches killed four people in western Austria’s Tyrol region over the weekend, police said yesterday.

Austria’s ski resorts have remained open despite the country’s third coronavirus lockdown as the government said outdoor sports pose little infection risk.

But authorities in the Tyrol region had warned last Thursday of an increased risk of avalanches due to rain and snowfall combined with strong winds and changes in temperature.

A 37-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, both from the region, “set off an avalanche at an altitude of 2,100 metres” in the Sellrain district on Saturday, the Tyrol police department said in a statement.

“They were both totally buried by the avalanche and their bodies could only be recovered on the evening of January 31,” the statement said.

On Saturday, the police had announced the death of a 16-year-old German boy in the Kuehtai area.