A 40-year-old British man has died after his ski touring party in the Tyrol became engulfed in a huge snow-slide. The body of a 22-year-old Dutchman was also dug out of the snow at the scene of the accident on Saturday (26 November).
The 10-person group was comprised of eight Dutch and a Briton and a Belgian. They were travelling towards the Ferwall Valley in Obergurgl when the avalanche began.
According to police, the group may have unwittingly triggered the huge torrent of snow as they made their way up the Alps in western Austria. The avalanche was at 3,000 ft and was nearly half a mile wide. Four members of the party were caught in the huge snow-slide.
The Dutchman died at the scene while the Briton was taken to an Innsbruck hospital but he died the next morning (27 November). Authorities are not releasing his identity until his next-of-kin are informed. An 18-year-old man from Holland is said to be in a "very critical state" in hospital, according to the Local.
Others in the group managed to free themselves from the avalanche and were able to ski downhill to call the emergency services. This is the first fatal incident in the 2016/17 season in the European Alps.
A police spokeswoman in Innsbruck said: "High-mountain police are investigating the incident. Two people died and a third person is in a very critical state in hospital.
"It is believed that it was the group who triggered the avalanche. It was really a very big one. You would not have a lot of chance to get out of that. Four people were caught beneath the snow.
"In this area there is very bad mobile phone connection. There was no chance to make a phone call so the guide decided to send one of the non-injured men down the mountain.
"There he could finally raise the alarm but only after 15 to 20 minutes and then a rescue operation was mounted after this delay."