Three skiers found dead after avalanche in Austria

The country has been hit by heavy snowfall in recent days

Three skiers found dead after avalanche in Austria

Picture by: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/DPA/PA Images

Three German skiers have died following an avalanche in the Alps in the west of Austria.

The bodies of the three men - aged 57, 36 and 32 - were discovered near the resort of Lech.

Local police said a fourth man in his 20s is still missing.

Rescue parties were forced to call off the search because of the danger of more avalanches.

Police said the group of skiers came from an area in south Germany.

Central Europe and the Balkans have been hit by unusually heavy snowfall in the last week.

The snow has left thousands of people stranded or cut-off.

On Friday, 66 German students and teachers were airlifted to safety by Austrian troops after they became stuck at a ski station in the Gruenau area.

The weather's caused major disruption to flights and has left up to 21 people dead across the continent.