2 Hikers on Snowshoes Hit by Avalanche in Italian Alps Are Dead 

Rome — Two hikers on snowshoes were killed by an avalanche in the Italian Alps near Switzerland, a rescue service said Sunday. 

The avalanche occurred around noon Sunday at the 2,200-meter (7,200-foot) level in the Formazza valley in the Piedmont region, said Federico Catania, a spokesperson for Italy’s alpine rescue service. 

The force of the avalanche pushed one of the victims into a lake near the bottom of the slope, while the other body was found in the mass of snow, he said. 

Despite strong winds, a helicopter was able to lower a rescue team aided by a dog unit. 

The identities of the two victims weren’t immediately released. 

A search operation was launched after guards at a nearby dike reported seeing an avalanche strike the two hikers, Catania said. An initial search by foot failed to find the hikers, prompting the use of the helicopter. 

A firefighters’ helicopter carrying divers was dispatched to recover the body from the lake, rescuers said. 

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