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One skier killed and another missing in Italy avalanche

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One skier killed and another missing in Italy avalanche
The search is underway for a missing skier hit by an avalanche in Courmayeur. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.

A Swedish woman has died and another is missing after being hit by an avalanche on Sunday above the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur, news agencies reported.

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The pair were part of a group of four skiing off-piste in a deep gully in the Val Veny when the avalanche occurred around lunchtime.

Two of them were found safe and well, but rescuers recovered the body of a woman, reported to be 24 or 25 years old, according to the Ansa news agency.

The fourth skier was swept away, and has yet to be found.

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Search operations, which included a helicopter, were hampered by poor weather. They are due to resume on Monday morning.

Gianluca Marra, head of the Valle d'Aosta Alpine Rescue Courmayeur station, told news outlets that rain and temperature changes were decisive factors in triggering the avalanche.

While skiing in the gully where avalanche occurred isn't forbidden, he said, it's not recommended, as "it's very steep and there are objective dangers."

In February 2019, another group of four skiers was hit by an avalanche on the same slope and killed, according to Skytg24.

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