Six hikers die in avalanche in Alps

Monday, May 4, 2009

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Six people were killed when an avalanche trapped them under eight feet of snow as they hiked in the Alps of Western Austria, according to authorities.

A 45-year-old man was the sole survivor when the group was hit by the avalanche at an altitude of about 9,850 feet rescuers said Sunday.

Authorities said the bodies of the victims had been recovered.

The group was buried by the tumbling snow Saturday afternoon while hiking not far from the popular Sun ski resort in Austria's alpine province of Tyrol. A rescue effort was mounted late Saturday, but had to be suspended overnight because of bad weather.

The Austria Press Agency quoted police officials as saying five victims were from the Czech Republic and the sixth was Slovak.

Avalanches claim dozens of lives in the Austrian Alps each year.

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