Report: Avalanche kills at least six skiers in northern Italy

At least six skiers died when they were struck by a large avalanche in northern Italy on Saturday, the ANSA news agency reported.

Rescue teams were searching for further skiers that may have been caught up in the avalanche on Schneebiger Nock, a 3,358-metre-high mountain near the Austrian border in the Italian province of South Tyrol.

The news agency reported that search parties, helicopters and sniffer dogs were on the mountain, known as Monte Nevoso in Italian.

Several people were able to free themselves and help others out from under the snow, the report said.

"We rarely have operations on a scale like this," ANSA quoted Rafael Kostner of the mountain rescue service Aiut Alpin as saying. The organization was coordinating the flights of rescue helicopters.

"The high altitude of the accident site makes the operation very difficult," Kostner said. However the rescue service had already succeeded in removing the six bodies to lower ground.

Last update: Sat, 12/03/2016 - 17:05

More from Europe

Poll: 'no' vote at 54 per cent in Italian constitutional referendum

Support for a 'no' vote on Italy's upcoming constitutional referendum has taken a 54-46 per cent lead, according to...

German minister hopeful shunned after "liking" right-wing party

A German prosecutor tapped for a cabinet position in an east German state is out of the running after "liking" the...

EU parliament chief raises hopes of salvaging Canada trade deal

An embattled trade EU-Canada trade deal should be signed as planned next week, European Parliament President Martin...

Police suspect tear gas in London City airport "chemical incident"

Police said they suspected CS gas could have caused a "chemical incident" that led to a three-hour evacuation of ...

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...