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Three killed in Italy avalanches

At least three people, including a Czech man, were killed in Italy on Saturday in three separate incidents involving avalanches on the country's Alps, news reports said.

world Updated: Feb 21, 2010 08:28 IST

At least three people, including a Czech man, were killed in Italy on Saturday in three separate incidents involving avalanches on the country's Alps, news reports said.

The deaths brought to four the weekend's toll and follow a spate of fatal accidents that have prompted the government to mull proposals to curb reckless behaviour such as off-track skiing in unstable snow conditions.

Experts say such activities are among the major causes of avalanches.

The Czech man, described by the ANSA news agency as a 44-year-old Prague resident, was skiing on the foothills of the 3,000 metre-high Mount Roisetta, in the northern Val d'Aosta region, when a slab of ice and snow crashed down the mountain.

In the morning, a skier was killed near Paganell, in the north-east Trentino-Alto Adige region, also after being buried in an avalanche.

In another accident in the same region, a man, who was identified in news reports as a member of Italy's crack Alpini mountain troops, died shortly after rescuers dug him out of several metres of snow.

On Friday night, a 25-year-old man rescued from an avalanche in the Val di Scalve area near the city of Bergamo was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.

The exact circumstances of the latest accidents were not immediately clear.

Italy's conservative government is reportedly considered introducing a decree, backed by the country's Civil Protection rescue services, in which people who fail to follow weather advisories in mountain areas are liable for fines.

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