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27 August 2017

Zillertal Alps accident kills five climbers in Austria

A view of the mountains from the top of the Hintertux Glacier near Mayrhofen in the Zillertal Valley, Austria, on 18 November 2012.Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

A view of the Zillertal Alps range in Austria

Five climbers have been killed and one seriously injured in an accident near Krimml in the Austrian Alps.

Five rescue helicopters were sent to the scene, 2,000m above sea level in the Zillertal Alps mountain range.

Authorities say the exact cause of the incident is unclear, but six people who were climbing with ropes appear to have fallen together.

Only one survived, and was flown to hospital in Salzburg, about 80km (50 miles) away.

Officials say the climbers were below the Mannlkarscharte pass, in an area with a heightened risk of rockslides.

“We think a rope may have come loose,” said Anton Voithofer, head of the Red Cross rescue team.

The names and nationalities of the victims have not been released at this stage.

The accident is believed to be the deadliest so far this season in the Austrian Alps, where several dozen mountaineers die annually.

In a separate accident, three Italian climbers have died on a glacier in the Ademello Brenta Park near Trento, in the Italian Alps.

Two of them perished after falling into a crevasse. A third was rescued but later died, the Associated Press reports.

They were climbing as a group of nine mountaineers roped together, and their six companions all sustained injuries.

On Saturday, an Italian climber died after he was hit by rocks in the Valtellina valley near the Swiss border.

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