Five German climbers die in accident on Austrian Alps

A group of climbers on the ridge of a mountain above 4000 metres in the Swiss Alps. An avalanche killed three Italians skiing in another part of the mountain range known as 'Death Valley' February 21, 2015. — AFP pic
A group of climbers on the ridge of a mountain above 4000 metres in the Swiss Alps. An avalanche killed three Italians skiing in another part of the mountain range known as 'Death Valley' February 21, 2015. — AFP pic

VIENNA, Aug 28 — Five German climbers were killed and a sixth seriously injured after an accident in the Austrian Alps yesterday, rescue services said.

The accident occurred below the Mannlkarscharte pass, about 80km south of the central city of Salzburg, when a rope came loose after one of the group skidded while climbing on a glacier at an altitude of 3,000 meters.

Witnesses from another group said two of the climbers “tried to prevent the fall by using ice picks, but to no avail”, said local mountain rescue chief Franz Gensbichler.

Five helicopters were sent to the scene, and the surviving climber was transported to a hospital in Schwarzach where he was said to be in serious condition.

The victims have not yet been identified.

It was the deadliest climbing accident so far this season in the Austrian Alps, where several dozen mountaineering deaths are reported each summer. — AFP

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