They even had avalanche protection equipment and deployed airbags but were buried and suffered multiple injuries. A fourth, aged 28, is missing, police said Sunday as snowfall set in again in the northern Alps. They skied onto a trail that was closed. In the Bavarian town of Kempten, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution through Tuesday because the weight of snow on their roofs was expected to increase. „Such quantities of snow above 800m altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years,” said Austrian meteorologist Alexander Radlherr.
The blanket of snow is expected to remain into the middle of next week throughout central and northern Europe. Heavy snow paralyzed much of Europe. State of emergency has been declared in a southern Bavarian district with army called in to help. Trains between the German cities of Munich and Lindau, on Lake Constance near the Austrian border, are traveling more slowly than usual. A state of emergency was in force across parts of Europe last night after the worst snowfall for at least 30 years. In Switzerland, a 1,000ft-wide avalanche ploughed through the front of a hotel while diners were eating. Three people were injured.