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Rescuers Comb German Avalanche Area

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Jan. 11 (AP)–About 100 rescue workers with search dogs and helicopters combed part of Germany’s tallest mountain Tuesday following a major avalanche, but officials said it was unlikely anyone was caught by the cascading snow.

About 400 skiers were on the other slopes of Zugspitz at the time of the avalanche, but a spokesman for the mountain watch said the lifts in the area of the avalanche were closed. Tourists who saw the avalanche start reported seeing no one in its path.

Experts were investigating what caused the massive snow slide. No avalanche warnings were in effect.

On Dec. 28, nine German tourists were killed in an avalanche near the village of Galtuer in western Austria. They were among about 40 members of the German Alpine Society who had planned to celebrate the new millennium at a remote hostel 6,600 feet up in the western Austrian Alps, 300 miles southwest of Vienna.

In 1965, one of Germany’s worst avalanches hit the Zugspitz region, killing 10 tourists and injuring 25.

Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press