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Report: 2 missing after Austria avalanche, fewer than feared


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Rescue workers were searching for two missing people after an avalanche swept across ski trails in western Austria on Sunday, the dpa news agency reported.

Initially up to 10 people were feared missing based on video from a witness, but eight of those individuals had been identified and were no longer feared buried, dpa reported citing a spokesman of the rescue team.

About 200 rescue workers were searching the avalanche site near the town of Zuers.

The avalanche occurred at around 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) on the 2,700-meter (nearly 9,000-foot) high Trittkopf mountain between Zuers and Lech am Arlberg, and the cascading snow reached as far as nearby ski trails.

The avalanche followed days of snow in the high alpine region and unseasonably warm weather on Christmas Day. The local mountain rescue service had rated the avalanche danger as “high.”

Officials said one person could be recovered quickly. Searchlights were set up on the snow mass to continue the search after darkness fell, and dogs were being used to try to find the missing.

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