Italy Avalanches Kill 7, Including Teen

In this undated photo released Sunday Dec. 27, 2009 by the "Soccorso Alpino Val Di Fassa" alpine rescue team, rescuers Luca Prinoth, second from left bottom row, Erwin Riz, at right sitting with white hat, and Alessando Dantone, fourth from left top row, pose for a photo during a training session in the Dolomite Alps Fassa Valley, northern Italy. Riz, Prinoth and Dantone were among seven people killed by avalanches in northern Italy, including a German teen-ager, Italian officials said Sunday.
AP Photo
Seven people, including a German teenager, have been killed by avalanches in northern Italy, officials said Sunday.

In one incident, two Italian tourists were killed when an avalanche hit them in the Italian Alps, said local Carabinieri police. Four rescuers who were looking for them were hit by a subsequent avalanche and were also killed.

The two tourists had gone missing Saturday afternoon while mountain climbing in the Trentino Alto Adige region.

In a separate incident in the same region, rescue and Carabinieri police officials said Sunday that a 14-year-old from Germany was hit by an avalanche when he was skiing with his brother and a friend. The 14-year-old was killed on the spot, the Carabinieri in the town of Silandro said.

Rescue official Holaf Reinstadler also confirmed the death and said the body was recovered about an hour later. The victim's brother was unhurt, while the third skier was taken to the hospital in nearby city of Bolzano. His condition was not known.

The victim was identified as Maximilian Conrad. The Carabinieri police said he was from the town of Trabach.

Elsewhere in Italy, heavy rainfall over the past few days caused rivers to overflow their banks, causing landslides and forcing the evacuations of hundreds of people in Tuscany and other regions, officials said. Some stretches of highways and other roads were closed.

The damage was estimated in the millions of euros (dollars). The head of the Civil Protection Department, Guido Bertolaso, said the government would soon declare a state of emergency for the hardest-hit regions, freeing funds for emergency relief and reconstruction.

The weather is forecast to improve in coming hours.