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Deadly avalanche rocks Italian Alps

A dozen skiers have been trapped under snow after an avalanche slammed Monte Nevoso in South Tirol. Local media have reported that emergency response teams are having difficulties reaching the area.

An avalanche in the Italian Alps has left at least six people dead, reported Italy's ANSA news agency on Saturday.

The avalanche occurred at 11:35 p.m. local time (1035 UTC) as the skiers attempted to reach a summit at an elevation of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) on Monte Nevoso in the autonomous region of South Tyrol near the Austrian border.

Rescuers were able to recover two bodies, although up to 10 people may still be buried under the snow, according to local media.

Rescue teams are facing difficulties during the operations, with helicopters having to drop off disaster response personnel and sniffer dogs near the summit.

The area was subjected to an avalanche risk factor of three out of five.

Earlier this month, several hundred skiers were stuck in cable gondolas after high winds toppled a tree on the main cable near the popular Val Gardena resort.

Some skiers were forced to wait in the cable cars for hours before disembarking amid wind gusts of up to 130 kilometers (70 miles) per hour.

Watch video 02:41

Snowmaking in the Alps' waning winter | DW

ls/rc (dpa, Reuters)

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