Europe

Italy avalanche kills two in Fiemme Valley

Rescue workers take part in an operation to recover bodies of tourists in Val di Fiemme, northern Italy. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The avalanche follows an accident which claimed the lives of six on Friday

Two Italian skiers have died in an avalanche in north-eastern Italy, in the same valley where six Russian tourists were killed a day earlier.

The accident took place in the Fiemme Valley, in the province of Trento.

The two men who died were both locals and expert skiers, one of the them working at an Alpine police training centre.

Their bodies were located, buried in the snow, thanks to a special mountain beacon that each had been carrying.

The incident comes hours after a group of Russian tourists died when the snowmobile they were travelling in overturned on an unlit black run on Mount Cermis, in the same area.

The four women and two men were killed when they were thrown into a deep ditch late on Friday as they attempted to return to their hotel in the dark.

Investigators think they took a wrong turning, heading down an unlit and difficult black piste, instead of the easier and illuminated slope that they should have taken.

Weather forecasters have said that recent rising temperatures and strong winds in the area have made it more dangerous as upper layers of snow are more likely to become detached, Italian media report.

The BBC's Mark Duff, in Milan, says that is one of the busiest weeks of the winter skiing season in the Alps.

Mount Cermis has an unenviable reputation as the site of a number of serious accidents, our correspondent adds.

In 1998, 19 people were killed when a low-flying US warplane cut the cable of a ski lift on the mountain.

In 1976, 42 people were killed when another cable car fell more than 200 metres in what remains the world's worst ever cable car accident.

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