Austria: 3 German skiers killed in avalanche, 4th missing

  • Due to the danger of an avalanche a mountain pass road is closed in Obermaiselstein, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

    Due to the danger of an avalanche a mountain pass road is closed in Obermaiselstein, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • The steeple of the Loferer church is seen through the snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 after a heavy snowfall.

    The steeple of the Loferer church is seen through the snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 after a heavy snowfall. Associated Press

  • A man rides a traditional cart through the wind in the snow-covered village of Nesutychi, 140 kilometers (87 miles) west of Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Daily temperatures dropped to around - 3 C ( 27 F) in Belarus.

    A man rides a traditional cart through the wind in the snow-covered village of Nesutychi, 140 kilometers (87 miles) west of Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Daily temperatures dropped to around - 3 C ( 27 F) in Belarus. Associated Press

  • A man prepares a horse to ride tourists during a cold winter day at a hill, near the Assumption Cathedral built in XVI century in the background, in the small Russian town of Dmitrov, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) north from Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Temperatures dipped to -10 C (14 F) in Moscow and -13 C (9 F) at night.

    A man prepares a horse to ride tourists during a cold winter day at a hill, near the Assumption Cathedral built in XVI century in the background, in the small Russian town of Dmitrov, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) north from Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Temperatures dipped to -10 C (14 F) in Moscow and -13 C (9 F) at night. Associated Press

  • Solidiers from the Austrian Bundesheer clean a roof from snow on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Waidring. Austrian province of Tyrol.

    Solidiers from the Austrian Bundesheer clean a roof from snow on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Waidring. Austrian province of Tyrol. Associated Press

  • A railway cleans snow from the rails on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Hochfilzen, Austrian province of Tyrol.

    A railway cleans snow from the rails on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Hochfilzen, Austrian province of Tyrol. Associated Press

  • A man cleans snow from a roof on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in St. Jakob, Austrian province of Tyrol.

    A man cleans snow from a roof on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in St. Jakob, Austrian province of Tyrol. Associated Press

  • Kayaker make their way on the river Saalach on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg.

    Kayaker make their way on the river Saalach on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg. Associated Press

  • Kayaker make their way on the river Saalach on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg.

    Kayaker make their way on the river Saalach on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg. Associated Press

  • Men clean a roof from snow  in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

    Men clean a roof from snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Associated Press

  • A danger sign " danger of avalanches" displayed at a closed street in Weissbach near Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

    A danger sign " danger of avalanches" displayed at a closed street in Weissbach near Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Associated Press

  • A snow blower works on a road at the Loferer Alp, Austrian province of Salzburg, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 .

    A snow blower works on a road at the Loferer Alp, Austrian province of Salzburg, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 . Associated Press

  • Two woman make their way through the fresh snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

    Two woman make their way through the fresh snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Associated Press

  • The steeple of the Loferer church is seen through the snow on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg.

    The steeple of the Loferer church is seen through the snow on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg. Associated Press

  • A car drives on a snow covered street at the Bavarian city Berchtesgaden, Germany, Friday, Jan 11, 2018, after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    A car drives on a snow covered street at the Bavarian city Berchtesgaden, Germany, Friday, Jan 11, 2018, after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A road in a forest is cleaned from snow in Schongau, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

    A road in a forest is cleaned from snow in Schongau, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A track vehicle of the German army provides food to a village near Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after southern Germany and Austria have been hit by heavy snowfall. (Bernd Maerz/dpa via AP)

    A track vehicle of the German army provides food to a village near Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after southern Germany and Austria have been hit by heavy snowfall. (Bernd Maerz/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A man and a bus make their way on a street in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after large parts of southern Germany and Austria were hit by heavy snowfall. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)

    A man and a bus make their way on a street in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after large parts of southern Germany and Austria were hit by heavy snowfall. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A snow plough cleans a street in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after large parts of southern Germany and Austria were hit by heavy snowfall. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)

    A snow plough cleans a street in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after large parts of southern Germany and Austria were hit by heavy snowfall. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A car drives on a road through a forest in Schongau, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

    A car drives on a road through a forest in Schongau, southern Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 after Austria and southern Germany were hit by heavy snowfall. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • People clear a roof from snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. In Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed on Friday because of the danger of trees falling under the weight of snow.

    People clear a roof from snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. In Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed on Friday because of the danger of trees falling under the weight of snow. Associated Press

  • A firefighter removes a snow covered fallen tree on a road in Hofsgrund, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

    A firefighter removes a snow covered fallen tree on a road in Hofsgrund, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Due to the danger of an avalanche a mountain pass road is closed in Obermaiselstein, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP)

    Due to the danger of an avalanche a mountain pass road is closed in Obermaiselstein, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/13/2019 7:27 AM

BERLIN -- Three German skiers have been killed in an avalanche in Austria and a fourth is missing, police said Sunday as snowfall set in again in the northern Alps.

The bodies of the men, aged 57, 36 and 32, were recovered Saturday evening near the ski resort of Lech, a few hours after the wife of one of the skiers reported them missing. Police in Vorarlberg, Austria's westernmost province, said they had to call off the search for another missing German skier in the group, age 28, because of heavy snow and the risk of avalanches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The avalanche brings to at least 24 the number of weather-related deaths reported in parts of Europe this month.

Police said the four friends had apparently skied onto a trail that was closed. Although they had avalanche protection equipment and deployed airbags, the victims were buried by the avalanche and suffered multiple injuries. They were located with the help of cellphone tracking.

On Saturday, authorities in southern Germany and Austria used a break in the weather to clear heavy loads of snow from roofs and roads.

But snow set in again on Saturday night. In the Bavarian town of Kempten, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution through Tuesday because the weight of snow on their roofs was expected to increase, the German news agency dpa reported.

Trains on part of the route between the German cities of Munich and Lindau, on Lake Constance near the Austrian border, were traveling more slowly than usual because of a risk of that trees weighed down by snow could fall onto the tracks.

Balderschwang, a small Alpine resort on Germany's border with Austria, was cut off on Sunday as the pass leading into it was closed for fear of avalanches.

In central Switzerland, trains carrying cars through the Furka tunnel were suspended because of an avalanche on a nearby road.

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