ROME – A series of avalanches in the Italian Alps killed seven people, including a 12-year-old German boy and four rescue workers sent out to help two tourists, Italian emergency services said Sunday.
Two tourists were trapped in a first avalanche at Val Lasties, near Trentino, late Saturday, and a second avalanche killed four members of an seven-strong rescue team.
A separate avalanche meanwhile killed the 12-year-old German boy in nearby Alto Adige as he was skiing off-piste with his brother and a friend.
The two tourists, aged 30 and 31, from Udine, northern Italy, were both experienced and careful skiiers, their family said.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano sent his condolences and a message of support to the bereaved families.
But Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy's civil protection service, denounced the latest loss of rescuers.
"I've had enough of our rescue workers losing their lives because people go out on excursions without paying heed to the alerts," he said.
Two other rescue workers caught up in the avalanche that killed their colleagues have left hospital after being treated for minor injuries.
Heavy snowfall and a rise in temperatures in the Alto Adige region had prompted local officials to increase the avalanche alert warning to level four on a scale of five.
Click to view image: 'ROME – A series of avalanches in the Italian Al'
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