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Six skiers rescued after avalanche in Switzerland

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Rescue forces search for missing people after an avalanche swept down a ski piste in the central town of Andermatt, canton Uri, Switzerland.
Rescue forces search for missing people after an avalanche swept down a ski piste in the central town of Andermatt, canton Uri, Switzerland.   -   Copyright  Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP
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Six skiers have been rescued from an avalanche that swept down a ski slope in central Switzerland, police say.

Two of them were rescued with minor injuries, the other four could dig themselves out of the snow or could quickly be helped by others.

The avalanche in Andermatt swept over the area around 10:50 am local time on Thursday. Witnesses reported that they saw other people get buried.

Police are conducting a large scale search operation with the support of Alpine Rescue Switzerland and the Swiss Air Ambulance.

It is still unclear whether more people could be buried under the snow.

Picture of Andermatt avalanche

Spokesperson of the canton police of Uri, Reto Pfister, told German news agency DPA that the avalanche was of "considerable size."

Swiss news website Blick posted a video that showed an avalanche in motion, burying the skiers in its path.

Heavy snow in recent days raised avalanche danger

According to the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) the region of Andermatt had a raised avalanche danger level of three out o five.

Avalanches can be caused by individual winter athletes and become dangerously big.

After two avalanches in Austria's Kärnten area, emergency rescuers have started looking for survivors. They found one man.

According to Austrian news agency APA, the man had survived for five hours under the snow by creating a small pocket of air in front of his face.

WEIHNACHTSWUNDER Vor kurzem konnte unsere Mannschaft am Pleschnitzzinken eine Person lebend nach 5 Stunden in einer...

Publiée par Bergrettung Gröbming sur Mercredi 25 décembre 2019
Rescue operations in Austria