Six people have been killed in a large avalanche in the Italian Alps and rescuers are searching for several others who were buried, Italian authorities say.
Carabinieri in Bolzano and Brunico confirmed the deaths in an avalanche that struck midday on Saturday (local time) at an elevation of about 3000 metres. Search-and-rescue operations are still underway.
The dead were in a group of backcountry excursionists who climbed above the tree line to the mountain crest to ski down. It was not clear how many were in the group or what triggered the avalanche.
As many as 10 people could still be buried, while two bodies have been recovered, it said the local Alto Adige newspaper.
A helicopter has brought dogs to search for survivors, state news agency Ansa said.
AAP / Reuters