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Avalanches Kill Four Skiers in 24 Hours in Italy

Avalanches have threatened a number of ski hills in Europe this past week

Four skiers have died in the Italian Alps in the past 24 hours. An avalanche killed a skier in the Dolomite Mountains, he was among four people struck Sunday morning.

A day earlier, an avalance struck a group of German skiers in the Senales Valley of Bolzano, killing two 7-year-old girls and the mother of one of them. Prosecutors are investigating whether that slope should have been closed, given a high risk of avalanches.

Strong winds and a lot of snow had recently raised the danger of avalanches at a number of European ski hills, which are crowded with vacationers during the holidays.

Rescuers work at Senales Valley Photo Associated Press