Avalanche in the northern Italian Alps killed three and injured five skiers

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The wounded are a man from Alto Adige, a Turin woman, two Belgians and one unidentified man. They were transported to Aosta. Twenty people were involved in the avalanche. The group was back-country skiing on virgin snow when the avalanche was triggered. Two rescue helicopter were involved in the search operations. Rescue dogs are also being used to find people caught in the tragedy. It is feared that up to four people are currently missing. The level of risk in the area was Thursday at 3 of 5. Another avalanche hit a short time later, less than an hour, in Colle San Carlo. Some skiers remained buried but found and rescued. Italian Alps are a popular destination for skiing. Heli-skiing is available through Heliski Courmayeur Mont Blanc in Entreves or the Courmayeur Society of Mountain Guides. Avalanche and mountain safety equipment including an avalanche beacon, spade and probes, and a harness (when on glaciers) is essential when skiing off-piste.

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