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Mar 8, 2010 1:01 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Avalanche, crashes kill 7 in Germany

Heavy snowfall in parts of Germany triggered a deadly avalanche and caused thousands of accidents, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens more injured, police said Sunday.

Across the southern state of Bavaria, police registered more than 2,000 accidents over the weekend, German news agency DDP reported, with at least three people dead. Police in the city of Regensburg said 46 cars were damaged in a highway pileup Saturday that left 17 people injured.

In the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, three more people died in traffic accidents on icy roads.

An avalanche in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday killed a backcountry skier, regional police spokesman Dieter Betzold said.

The avalanche engulfed a group of four at the Grosser Traithen mountain close to the town of Oberaudorf. While three of the skiers were apparently able to dig themselves out of the snow, the group's fourth member was found dead, Petzold said.

No details about the victim's identity were immediately released.

The region got 15.75 inches of fresh snow over the weekend, DDP reported.

Heavy snowfall started on Friday night in parts of Germany, causing hundreds of accidents within hours. Police in western North Rhine-Westfalia said Saturday that 337 accidents had injured at least 45 people.

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