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Hofer linked to fatal Salzburg avalanche

An avalanche near Salzburg in Austria today killed three skiiers and there are so-far unconfirmed reports one of the fatalities is factory KTM MX2 rider Rene Hofer.

The 19-year-old, who won his first GP just over five weeks ago, is believed to have gone off-piste skiing with some motocross pals.

The accident happened Saturday afternoon about 2,400 metres high in the Lungau district, Red Cross spokesman Anton Schilcher told the APA news agency.

The snow buried eight of the group up to 4.5 metres deep, local emergency response official Christoph Wiedl told local media.

Two of the victims were already dead when their bodies were recovered, while the third died after being airlifted to hospital in Klagenfurt.

Two injured skiers who survived were taken to hospital. The skiers caught in the avalanche were from a group from the regions of Salzburg and Upper Austria but have not yet formally been named.

More news when we get it and our thoughts are with anybody affected by this disaster.