Mixnitz (dpa) - According to the mountain rescue, two people were killed in a rock fall in Austria. Eight other hikers were partially seriously injured, the police said. The incident occurred in the Bärenschützklamm near Mixnitz in Styria.

Apparently one or more pieces of rock had broken out of the steep walls around noon in nice summer weather and had hit the hikers. According to the police, the dead are a 50-year-old woman from Hungary and a 21-year-old Austrian. Aid workers were from the Alpine Police, mountain rescue, the Red Cross and the fire brigade.

The gorge is very popular with tourists. The limestone walls rise up to 300 meters into the sky. In the past, according to the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), around 40,000 visitors came every year to master the spectacular, multi-hour hike over more than 150 bridges and a few hundred meters in altitude.

The Bärenschützklamm was closed to visitors and hikers until further notice. The Alpine Police are carrying out further surveys on the process. According to the mountain rescue depiction, the chunk should have detached itself from a wall around 50 meters high. The exact termination point is unclear, said a spokesman. When hitting the hiking trail and the wooden stairs, the rock was shattered.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200708-99-721079 / 3