6 killed in Alpine avalanches in Austria

Austrian authorities say six people have been killed in two separate avalanches in the Austrian Alps

Five snowshoers who were hiking in central Austria were hit by one avalanche at about 9:30 a.m., Austria's APA news agency reported. Several people witnessed the avalanche and immediately informed emergency services, but the hikers, believed to be from the Czech Republic, were already dead by the time rescuers got to them.

There had been high winds and heavy snowfall in the area over the past few days, leading to the avalanche.

And in southwestern Austria, a police officer who was undergoing Alpine training was killed when he was hit by a separate avalanche. He was hit by a large piece of frozen snow and died at the scene from his injuries, state authorities told APA.