Italy: Two Hungarian cavers killed by avalanche 21/02/2006 - 14:01:52
Two Hungarian cavers were killed by an avalanche in the Alps in north-eastern Italy, rescuers said today, while another seven remained trapped in a mountain cave.
The two – a man and a woman – were found dead today. A third, who was with the victims when they were hit by the avalanche, was reported safe, the Alpine rescue service in north-eastern Italy said.
The three had been the first in the group to leave the cave. They were hit first by a minor avalanche yesterday morning on Mount Bila Pec, near Udine. They managed to free themselves from the snow, but were struck by another avalanche two hours later as they descended from the mountain, rescuers said.
Heavy snowfall was complicating efforts to rescue the remaining seven, rescue teams said, but added that the seven did not appear to be in immediate danger as long as they remained inside the cave.
UPDATE2 - Two Hungarian speleologists killed in Italy (adds new details)
Udine/Rome, February 21 (MTI) - Two Hungarian speleologists, a man and a woman died in the north Italian Julia-Alps region, while a third, reported missing earlier, escaped an accident unharmed, the rescue services told Italia ADNKronos news agency on Tuesday.
Hungarian Consul in Milan, Miklos Karpati confirmed to MTI the death of the two speleologists.
A group of ten Hungarian speleologists disappeared at the Sella-Nevea pass in the Canin mountain region on Monday. Three of them reported over mobile phone that due to an avalanche rolling close, seven of their colleagues got stuck in a cave but they were not in direct danger, the agency said.
The search and rescue operations for the ten speleologists by the Friuli-Venezia (Venice)-Giulia region mountain rescue services and a helicopter continued on Tuesday. Heavy snow and bad weather in the region seriously hindered the rescue operations on Tuesday morning.
Rescuers had the last contact with the speleologists outside the cave at 1530 local time on Monday, but contact with them was then lost as their mobiles went dead.
The ten speleologists were participating in a several days long cave tour in the 1750-metre-high Canin mountain. Three of them left the cave they toured on Monday afternoon to go to another one called Cave del Predil. An avalanche rolling down when they left the cave dumped the three in a 3-metre-deep snow. One of the three managed to free himself and alert the rescue services, ADNKronos said, and added that the survivor was in good physical condition.
Meanwhile, rescue operations for the seven Hungarians, who were advised to stay inside the cave, is going on, Italian sources said.