Italian alps avalanche kills woman and two girls

Val Senales mountain in South Tyrol, ItalyImage copyright
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Image caption

Val Senales is a popular glacier for skiers

A woman and two seven-year-old girls have died in an avalanche while skiing in Val Senales in the Italian Alps.

The woman, aged 35, was the mother of one of the girls, according to reports in Italian media.

The three, all thought to be German, were skiing about 2,400m (7,900ft) up the Val Senales glacier in South Tyrol, near the Austrian border.

A team of 70 workers and three helicopters helped recover the bodies in a search operation.

Reports said two victims died at the scene, while one of the girls was airlifted to hospital but died en route. Two other skiers from the same group of skiers were injured but not critically.

There have been a number of avalanches in the Alps this winter. A skier was rescued after being buried for five hours. after an avalanche in Austria on Friday.

What happens when an avalanche hits?

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Media captionSkiers surprised in off-piste avalanche