MILAN (AP) — Italy's alpine rescue corps says two backcountry skiers died in an avalanche near the Swiss border, while a third skier survived unharmed.
Spokesman Walter Milan says the three skiers were on a mountain above the village of Lanzada, 150 kilometers northeast of Milan at about 3000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level when they were struck Friday by an avalanche about 300 meters wide. They were not at an organized ski area.
One skier escaped unharmed, while the other two, ages 43 and 53, were carried down a jagged, rocky slope. Three helicopters responded to the emergency.
Nearly 30 skiers have been killed in the Italian Alps this season, a significant increase over last year. Walter said an icy under-layer has elevated the avalanche risk, making even minor accumulations unstable.