Five skiers have been killed after an avalanche in the Tyrol region of the Australian Alps. The party from the Czech Republic are understood to have perished in the accident at around noon local time today (6 February).

The dead were part of a party of 17 skiers located in Lizumer Hütte in the Wattental valley around 25 miles (40km) southeast of Innsbruck in the western part of the country. Rescue workers are understood to be on the scene trying to identify the dead and the injured. The deaths add to the total of what has been a particularly dangerous skiing season in across the world famous mountain range which also covers regions in France.

Just last month it was announced that a schoolteacher whose pupils were killed during an avalanche on a closed "black run" piste in the Deux Alpes ski resort in the French Alps would be charged with involuntary manslaughter after it emerged that he had been discharged from a psychiatric unit two months earlier. The 47 year-old PE teacher, whose name has not been released, had been prescribed antidepressants and mood stabilisers following his release.

A 16-year-old girl died at the scene of the accident on a slope called Bellecombe on Wednesday (13 January) while a 14-year-old boy died later in hospital. A Ukrainian man who was not connected to the school group also died and at least two other members of the school group were found to be in a state of cardiac arrest. Also last month five soldiers from the French Foreign Legion died near the resort of Valfrejus with a sixth succumbing to his injuries days later in hospital.