German avalanches sweep away seven, kill one manFebruary 15th, 2009 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS
Munich, Feb 14 (DPA) Avalanches Saturday on the German side of the Alps swept away seven men on skis and snowboards, killing one of them, police said.
A mass of snow came off the side of the Wallberg, a mountain in the Tegernsee alpine holiday region south of Munich, at about midday as three snowboarders and two skiers were making downhill runs in an area not marked out as ski lane.
One of the men, 20, was only partly covered and managed to scramble free and ski to a place where his mobile phone could make a connection so that he could call the emergency services.
By the time rescuers had dug out all the men, one of them, aged 27, had been smothered and was dead.
A seriously injured 23-year-old was taken by helicopter to a hospital. With snow falling heavily, the other three managed to descend the mountain unaided to a ski village.
Further west, near the Kreuzeck ski field, close to the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, an avalanche swept away two men, but they managed to dig themselves out, police said.
With the risk of avalanches high, area police urged winter holidaymakers to stay on posted ski slopes marked as safe.
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Tags: alps, emergency services, feb 14, garmisch partenkirchen, german side, german town, holiday region, holidaymakers, midday, rescuers, seven men, ski field, ski slopes, ski village, skiers, skis, snowboarders, snowboards, tegernsee, wallberg