Police say three German skiers have been killed in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps and a fourth is missing.
The group of four had been using touring skis, which enable skiers to climb as well as ski down slopes and explore off-piste, police in the western province of Vorarlberg said.
The victims suffered multiple injuries despite being equipped with avalanche protection gear that deployed airbags.
Police called off the search of the 28-year-old missing German skier because of the risk of further avalanches. They were located with the help of cellphone tracking. Ski patrollers are in charge of preventing potential dangers to skiers, notably by triggering controlled avalanches with powerful explosive charges.
Three people were killed in eastern Switzerland when an avalanche hit a hotel at the Schwaegalp mountain pass on Thursday.
In the Bavarian town of Kempten, local authorities closed 11 sports halls as a precaution because the weight of snow on their roofs was expected to increase.
The avalanche brings to at least 24 the number of weather-related deaths reported in parts of Europe this month.
Trains on part of the route between the German cities of Munich and Lindau, on Lake Constance near the Austrian border, were traveling more slowly than usual because of a risk of that trees weighed down by snow could fall onto the tracks.