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Rescue teams search for skiers buried by avalanche in Austria

origin 1 members of the emergency services working near the scene of an avalanche in Bregenz, Austria on December 25, 2022 ©AFP/HANDOUT

Mountain rescue teams in Austria are searching for a dozen people buried by an avalanche on Sunday.

Police say the skiers were buried when the avalanche hit in Bregenz in the western Voralrlberg region.

“One person has been rescued, while operations continue to find the others,” a spokesman told reporters, without offering further details on the missing skiers.

Helicopters and several teams accompanied by dogs were mobilized for the searches.

The avalanche started around 15:00 CET at an altitude of around 2,700 meters in the Lech Zürz ski area.

No information has been given on the identity of those affected.

Rescuers warned over the weekend that there was a high risk of avalanches in the area and in nearby Tyrol, underlining the fragility of the snowpack after a recent thaw.

In recent years, avalanches in Austria have caused an annual average of twenty deaths.