(LONDON) — At least two people were killed and two others were missing after being buried in a large avalanche at a ski resort in Austria on Thursday, authorities said.

Emergency officials in Tyrol in Vent, Austria, reported that at least four people were buried in the avalanche. However, according to initial police estimates, 18 people have been affected, though these numbers have not been confirmed by local authorities.

A massive search-and-rescue operation was immediately launched at a ski resort near the town of Soelden in the Austrian Alps, officials said.

At least two people were found dead, officials said. At least two others were unaccounted for, according to authorities.

The victims were apparently part of a ski touring group from the Netherlands that was skiing towards a mountain refuge with four Austrian guides, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Tirol state police.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.