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Weekend avalanches claim at least three lives

Swiss avalanches have claimed at least 13 lives so far this year

(Keystone)

At least three people are dead, and one is still missing, following a series of avalanches in the Swiss Alps over the weekend.

A group of three skiers in canton Ticino's Bedretto Valley were swept away on Sunday by a avalanche 700-metres wide.

Rescuers found the bodies of two of the skiers on Sunday afternoon. The search for the third member of the ski party had to be called off at nightfall without any success.

The avalanche was as long as it was wide, but did not reach any inhabited areas of the valley.

In the region of Splügen, in canton Graubünden, a woman was killed by an avalanche which swept down the side of Pizzo Tambo. She was pulled from the snow by a group of people with whom she had been climbing.

Elsewhere in Graubünden a woman was saved after being buried by an avalanche near Flims. She was later taken to hospital.

On Saturday afternoon, a 500-metre wide and 10-metre deep avalanche occurred near Andermatt in canton Uri. Rescue workers called off their search on Sunday evening for a snowboarder who is thought to have triggered the avalanche.

Another avalanche on Saturday buried a bridge in Pontresina, in canton Graubünden, although no one was injured.

So far, at least 13 people have been killed in Swiss avalanches this year, including six in the past week.

swissinfo with agencies

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