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Avalanche traps skiers at Swiss resort

An avalanche has blocked the train tracks and roads leading to the Swiss resort town Zermatt, leaving skiers and vacationers trapped, according to the Daily Mail.

The popular ski destination has reportedly been blanketed by more than 3 feet of snow in about 24 hours, triggering an avalanche.

The Ski Club of Britain, a nonprofit website for snow sports enthusiasts, reported that a storm surged across Europe, dumping snow across the Alps. "Access roads into resorts have been closed, and some areas are on lockdown due to the heavy snowfall increasing the risk of avalanche," according to the site.

The major storm came a month after Swiss resorts started the season with very little snow on the ground. Several ski resorts were forced to delay opening their slopes. (See: Ski season in Switzerland stalled by lack of snow)

Zermatt is on the Swiss-Italian border and is perhaps best known as the village at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the highest peaks in the Alps.

The avalanche reportedly happened on Thursday afternoon. A spokeswoman for the local tourism board told the Daily Mail that rail staff were assessing whether workers could dig out the train tracks on Friday.

Belinda Hadden, 53, told the paper that the closed roads caused her to miss a flight home to London.

"I had no idea until I went to the train station and was told there was no way I was getting out," she told the Daily Mail. "There are worse places to be trapped, but it is a bit worrying that we are properly stuck."

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