Eight climbers die in three separate Alps accidents

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Aug. 27, 2017 at 9:37 PM
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Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Eight mountain climbers died in three separate accidents over the weekend in the Alps in Austria and Italy, officials said Sunday.

In Austria, five people died and another person was injured Sunday in the Zillertal Valley in the Austrian Alps.

The Austrian Red Cross said it appeared the climbers were roped together on Mount Gabler, east of Innsbruck.

"We think a rope may have come loose," said Anton Voithofer, head of the Red Cross rescue team, said in a BBC report.

A 60-year-old in the group survived and was a flown in a helicopter to a hospital 50 miles away in Salzburg. He is in intensive care but his injuries are not life-threatening, Dr. Egbert Ritter, a trauma surgeon at the AUVA hospital in Salzburg, told CNN.

Ritter said the climbers fell about 1,000 feet into a glacier. They were below the Mannlkarscharte pass in an area with a great risk of rockslides.

The names and nationalities of the climbers were not released.

In Italy, nine Italians from the city of Brescia were climbing together in Ademello Brenta Park near Trento on Sunday.

The group was connected by three ropes. Those on the lowest rope slipped on the glacier, dragging others higher up the slope, according to the rescue center.

A man and woman in their mid 30s died on the glacier. One of victims was rescued but later died, and two others were hospitalized.

On Saturday in Italy, an Italian climber was hit by boulders and died in the Valtellina Alpine area, near the border with Switzerland.

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