Italian police: 6 dead in avalanche in Italian Alps

MILAN: Authorities say six backcountry skiers have died in an avalanche on Monte Nevoso in the Italian Alps.

Carabinieri in Bolzano and Brunico confirmed the deaths in an avalanche that struck midday Saturday at an elevation of about 3,000 meters (9,840 feet). Search-and-rescue operations were still underway.

The dead were in a group of backcountry excursionists who climb above tree line to the mountain crest and then ski down. It was not clear how many were in the group or what triggered the avalanche.

Monte Nevoso is 3,358 meters (11,017 feet) in altitude in the Alto Adige region of Italy near the Austrian border.