Two climbers were left dangling from another man’s rope after they fell and died in Italy.
The men slipped on snow and died on Thursday morning while trying to climb Gran Sasso mountain in the central Abruzzo region.
Rescue squads were called in by a third climber who was connected to the victims with a rope, according to local media.
Their bodies were recovered from a valley in the early afternoon.
An Italian woman, aged 49, died on Christmas Day on the mountain in similar circumstances, with her body being recovered at dawn on Boxing Day after her relatives alerted authorities.
It comes as a major search operation was launched for skiers buried by four avalanches in Austria and Switzerland.
In Austria, the ski resort of Ankogel experienced three avalanches mid-morning on Boxing Day, while the Swiss resort of Andermatt was hit by one.
In Andermatt, police said at least two people were slightly injured and more were buried after the avalanche swept down a ski slope in the Oberalppass area at 10.50am on Boxing Day.
“We believe there are more people buried but we can’t say how many,” Reto Pfister, state police spokesman in the Swiss canton of Uri, told NBC News.
Four others were rescued or freed themselves from the snow without injury, according to a police statement.
“The longer the search takes, the smaller the chance they get away without an injury or danger to life,” Mr Pfister added.
The avalanche is believed to have covered an area measuring 20 by 50 metres (65x164ft).
Alpine Rescue Switzerland, Swiss Air Ambulance and the state police are involved in the rescue operation.
There were many skiers enjoying the mountain sunshine on Thursday but there has been heavy snowfall in recent days which has raised the avalanche danger to three in Andermatt, meaning significant danger.
In Austria, one of the avalanches happened outside the secured ski area, burying two free riders who were able to free themselves, an Austrian police spokesman said.
Another large avalanche that came down directly on the slope may have buried more people, with more than 60 rescue workers, helicopters and dogs searching, he said.
It was too early to say anything regarding any potential deaths, the spokesman added.
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