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Avalanches claim three lives, rescuer injured

Preddvor, 13 February - Two avalanches were triggered in the area of Mt Storžič (2,132 metres) in the western part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps mountain range on Saturday, burying four climbers. Three died at the scene and one sustained severe injuries, the Administration for Civil Protection and Disatser Relief says on its website. One rescuer was also injured.

Borovnica
The snow-capped Mt Storžič.
Photo: Aljoša Rehar/STA

The first avalanche happened at 10:40am and buried two climbers on their way to Mt Storžič. Both sustained injuries so severe that they died on the scene.

During the rescue operation involving mountain rescuers, police, army and a medical team, another avalanche was triggered at 1:57pm higher up the mountain, engulfing two other climbers.

One of them died at the scene, while the other sustained serious injuries.

While trying to escape the second avalanche, one of the rescuers from the medical team injured his hand.

The three victims and the two injured were brought to the valley by an army helicopter.

The Kranj police warned against hiking and climbing in the mountains in the current extreme weather conditions.

The danger of avalanches at altitudes of up to 1,800 metres is level three, considerable, while at higher altitudes it is high, level four. Temperatures in the mountains are at around -20 degrees Celsius with strong northerly and north-easterly winds.

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© STA, 2021