Austria avalanche leaves up to 10 missing; 200 search for victims

FRANKFURT, Germany — An avalanche left up to 10 people missing in western Austria on Sunday, according to media reports.

About 200 rescue workers were searching for people feared buried under the snow near the town of Zuers, reports said.

The avalanche occurred at around 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) on the 2,700-meter (nearly 9,000-foot) high Trittkopf mountain between Zuers and Lech am Arlberg, and the cascading snow reached as far as nearby ski trails.

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The avalanche followed days of snow in the high alpine region and unseasonably warm weather on Christmas Day, the Austria Press Agency reported, citing local police. The local mountain rescue service had rated the avalanche danger as “high.”

Officials said one person could be recovered quickly. Searchlights were set up on the snow mass to continue the search after darkness fell, and dogs were being used to try to find the missing.

The search would continue “all night if we have to,” Lech-Zuers tourism director Hermann Fercher said during an interview on ORF Austrian public television.

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