Six mountaineers have been killed by an avalanche in the Austrian Alps.
The accident occured close to the Soelden ski station in Tyrol, some 500 metres from the summit of the 3,500 Schalfkogel peak. The alarm was raised on Saturday afternoon but a rescue attempt had to be called off because of bad weather. The only survivor in their group was a middle-aged Czech man who had opted to remain behind in a hut. All the victims are believed to come from the Czech Republic. The Austrian Alps received unusually heavy snowfall this winter and avalanches have been frequent and sometimes fatal, killing mainly individual skiers who had ventured off patrolled slopes to tackle deep powder drop-offs.