Several avalanches have buried ski resorts in Austria and Switzerland, with rescuers searching for possible victims under the snow.
Three terrifying avalanches dumped metres of snow on the Austrian ski resort of Ankogel and one at the Swiss resort of Andermatt, burying six people.
As rescuers undertook a frantic search at Ski Arena Andermatt , four of the victims were able to free themselves and two people were pulled from the snow and taken to Uri hospital with minor injuries, according to the Swiss resort’s Facebook page.
“Rescue teams do not expect other avalanche victims,” the Facebook page said.
“Why the avalanche has come down is part of the ongoing investigation by the cantonal police. The slope is closed on December 27th,” the Facebook post said.
Earlier today, 6 people were caught by an avalanche on Schneehüenerstock on the slope towards the Oberalp Pass. 4 people…
The avalanche occurred mid-morning while many holiday skiers enjoyed mountain sunshine the day after Christmas. A police spokesman said it was an avalanche of considerable size.
Danger for the area had been at level three on a scale of five, according to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, which said fresh and wind-drifted snow was the main threat.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 26, 2019
In Austria, three avalanches came down in Ankogel in the province of Carinthia, police said.
One happened outside the secured ski slope and buried two free riders, who were able to escape.
An Austrian skier, 26, who was buried beneath snow for five hours by an avalanche was rescued in what the emergency services described as a miracle, according to a report in The Times.
A large rescue team, searching for possible victims of another major avalanche that came down directly on the slope, had not found anyone by afternoon, a police spokesman said.
The avalanche warning level had also been at three on a scale of five, according to Carinthia’s warning service.