Christmas Avalanche Buries At Least 10 In Austria, 2 Still Missing

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Two people are still unaccounted for after a major avalanche hit western Austria on Christmas Day.

Search teams were deployed and upwards of 200 volunteers and their dogs also helped after the avalanche hit the 9,000-foot Trittkopf mountain at about 3 p.m. local time, according to the Austrian Press Agency, Euro News reported.(RELATED: Skier Collapses On Slope At Deer Valley Resort And Dies: Report)

Initially, 10 people were thought to be missing based on video footage, but eight of them were identified and are no longer feared to be buried, according to Austrian outlets, Euro News reported. Rescue teams are searching for two missing victims.

The teams requested headlamps so that they could continue the search in the dark, the Austrian Press Agency said, according to The Guardian.

The avalanche hit near the mountainous villages Zuers and Lech. Arlberg Lech/Zuers is “one of the best ski areas in the world” and the “cradle of Alpine skiing,” according to its own website.

“We are doing everything we can to rescue the winter sports enthusiasts,” the Austrian Press Agency quotes the municipality of Lech as saying, BBC reported.

The ski area closed at 5 p.m. local time Sunday and that there will be a skiing update at 8 a.m. Monday, according to the resort’s website.