Two Austrian skiers killed in second deadly avalanche

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Two skiers were killed by an avalanche in western Austria, police said on Saturday, hours after another avalanche in the same province killed five people on an unusually dangerous day in the Alps after heavy snowfall followed by warmer weather.

Emergency services found the bodies of the two Austrian skiers, a woman aged 61 and a 60 year-old man, at 00:40 a.m. on Saturday (2340 GMT on Friday) after their relatives raised the alarm when they could no longer be contacted, police said.

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Authorities in Austria warned Saturday of “considerable” risk of avalanches in the west of the country after nine people were killed within 24 hours.

The pair had set out in the Tyrol region on Friday afternoon and the man told a contact by phone at 3:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) that they had reached the 1,868-metre (6,129-ft) Breitegg peak. That was their last contact.

“After they could no longer be reached, relatives made an emergency call at around 9.40 p.m.,” police said in a statement.

In Friday's earlier incident, a 42-year-old Austrian mountain- and ski-guide and four Swedish skiers, all men in their 40s, were killed when an avalanche near the town of Spiss on the border with Switzerland buried them completely.

Another member of the group, a 43-year-old Swede, was able to phone for help and was rescued, police said.

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