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7 climbers fall to their deaths in the Alps

Posted August 27

Seven climbers fell to their deaths in two separate incidents in the Alps on Sunday, officials said.

Five of the climbers died in the Austrian Alps, Zell am See provincial government chief Martin Reichholf told CNN. Two others were killed as they climbed in a group roped together in the Italian Alps, according to an emergency center there.

Reichholf said there were indications that the climbers were German citizens, adding that details were still emerging.

The climbers in Austria fell around 300 meters (1,000 feet) onto a glacier near the town of Krimml, according to Dr. Egbert Ritter, a trauma surgeon at the AUVA hospital in Salzburg.

A sixth climber -- a 60-year-old man -- is in intensive care at the hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening, Ritter said. Six helicopters were at the scene of the accident, he told CNN.

The climbers fell at around 10 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) about 1.5 kilometers south of a mountain cabin called the Zittauer Hutte at an altitude of around 3,000 meters, he said.

Group roped together

In Italy, a man and woman who appear to be in their mid-30s were killed as they climbed the Adamello glacier in the the Trentino Alto Adige region, according to the emergency rescue center in the town of Trento.

They were part of a group of nine Italians from the city of Brescia. The climbers were connected by three ropes. They fell when those on the lowest rope slipped on the glacier, dragging down others higher up the slope, according to the rescue center.

A further two climbers were seriously injured, including a 14-year-old boy who is being treated in Trento hospital.

Three helicopters were used to rescue the group, officials said.

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