Three men from Sofia died on March 8 in an avalanche near the Yavorov hut on Bulgaria’s Pirin mountain, police in Blagoevgrad said.
A police statement said that emergency number 112 had received a call at about 2.45pm about three men who had been skiing off-piste in an area that had been hit by an avalanche.
The men were 29, 34 and 38 and reportedly were from among a group of 17 that had been staying in the hut.
Rescue teams had been dispatched to the area, which had seen snowfall of more than a metre, with strong winds and thick fog, making conditions difficult.
Bulgarian Red Cross head Hristo Grigorov said that three sleds had been sent to recover the bodies. He said that the three men had been hit by tons of snow. They were pulled out from beneath the snow, but were dead.
The incident happened as huge snowfalls, mainly in southern Bulgaria, had led to power cuts affecting tens of thousands and disruptions to road and rail traffic.
States of emergency were declared in the Smolyan and Kurdzhali regions on March 7, and in other municipalities, while Regional Development Minister Liliyana Pavlova and Environment Minister Ivelina Vassileva travelled to the worst-hit areas on March 8.
Military personnel assisted in emergency efforts, with Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev calling together a crisis headquarters on March 8 to co-ordinate assistance.