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Police said the skiers were stuck outside overnight in the Pigne d’Arolla area

Four skiers and two climbers have died in separate incidents in the Swiss Alps after bad weather swept through the Valais region on Sunday.

The skiers from France, Italy and Germany were among a party of 14 who failed to reach a mountain cabin more than 3,000m (9,850ft) above sea level.

Police say one died in a fall and three of hypothermia, while five survivors are in a serious condition.

An alarm was raised for the climbers on Sunday but weather delayed the search.

Police gave their ages as 21 and 22, AFP news agency reports. Their nationalities were not immediately known.

The Swiss Alps were hit by major wind storms and falling temperatures following a period of unseasonably warm weather.

The 14 skiers had set out from the Dix rest-stop along a route known as the Serpentine, aiming to arrive at Vignettes later that night.

Caught by bad weather, they were forced to spend the night outside in the Pigne d’Arolla area.

The manager of a cabin in Vignettes sent out a distress call early on Monday morning after they failed to arrive, and seven helicopters were dispatched as part of a search operation.

The incident follows the death last month of three Spanish cross-country skiers who were engulfed by an avalanche in the Fiescheralp area of the Swiss Alps.

On 2 April, an avalanche in the French Alps killed mountain guide and doctor Emmanuel Cauchy.

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