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Skier who died 'decades ago' found in cave

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Skier who died 'decades ago' found in cave
A member of the mountain rescue team. Photo: APA/Police

Austrian rescue workers have recovered from a cave the skeleton of a skier who is thought to have fallen to his death in the Alps decades ago, police said on Wednesday.

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"It is difficult to say before the autopsy how old the remains are... but the equipment found in the cave is 60 or 70 years old," Anton Schentz, a spokesman for Salzburg state police in western Austria, told AFP.

"It may however be difficult to identify the remains... The autopsy will take several more days," he added.

Two weeks ago geologist Georg Zagler thought at first that bones he found 150 metres (around 500 feet) below the surface were from an animal but he then discovered two shoes and bits of ski and pole.

Other bones were found up to 300 metres below the surface and on Tuesday Zagler together with several others collected as much of the remains as possible and brought them to the surface.

"The leather shoes were hobnailed with thick iron spikes," Zagler told the Austrian Press Agency. "It's likely that he died instantly."

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