Two injured in avalanche at Swedish ski area

Two injured in avalanche at Swedish ski area
Photo: Mats Lennartson/TT
Two women were injured after being swept away in an avalanche on Sunday near a popular ski area in northern Sweden.

The women, who were skiing off-piste near the Kittelfjäll resort at the time, had to wait four hours for rescue workers to reach them.

Altogether, one man and two women were swept up in the avalanche, which occurred at midday. One woman suffered a broken leg, while the other escaped with an injured foot.

Mountain rescue teams at first tried to reach the skiers with sleds pulled by snowmobiles, but the difficult terrain forced them to traverse part of the route on foot.

"It was really challenging and difficult terrain," Markus Karlsson of the Västerbotten County police told the TT news agency.

Rescuers reached the stranded skiers around 4pm.

At the time of the incident, Kittelfjäll's avalanche risk was level three of a five-level scale, with conditions described as "dangerous".

However, the risk assessment only applied to the ski area's groomed trails, whereas the avalanche risk in the nearby back-country areas is even higher, according to rescue workers.

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