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Fatal Avalanches in Austria

Five persons, according to the authorities, died on Sunday after three more fatalities were recorded in the mountains the day before.

After three fatalities were initially recorded despite warnings to use caution on the slopes, Austrian police now claim that five persons were killed in avalanches in the country’s west.

The avalanche alert level was at four on a scale of five after many days of heavy snowfall and wind when the eight fatalities occurred. February school holidays are a busy time for resorts.

Police in the western Tyrol area of Austria said that on Sunday, authorities discovered the body of a 59-year-old man who had been buried while using his tractor to assist in clearing snow.

In Saint Anton am Arlberg, three people—a guide, two skiers, ages 29 and 33—were discovered dead. In addition, rescuers found a 62-year-old man who had disappeared after cross-country skiing around Hohe Aifner’s top and who could not be revived.

Three people were discovered dead on Saturday: a 32-year-old Chinese male, a 50-year-old German, and a 17-year-old New Zealander.

Officials have advised winter sports enthusiasts to take cautious after two days of significant snowfall and wind-related avalanche threat. On Saturday, there were 30 avalanches reported in Tyrol alone, 11 of which concerned missing individuals. Rescue efforts were hampered by poor visibility and unfavorable weather.

Austria, a popular winter sports destination, has seen an average of 20 avalanche fatalities each year in recent years.

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