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Rafters missing in Austria found

More than two dozen people were tossed into a raging Alpine river in western Austria after their rafts capsized, but all were found after an intensive rescue operation, authorities have said.

Scores of rescue workers used boats and helicopters to scour the banks of the Bregenzerach River in Vorarlberg province for three hours after police reported at least 10 rafters were missing.

Red Cross spokesman Michael Osti said 12 rafters had to be rescued after being stranded on the river's banks.

A group of 74 rafters had started their trip in three German boats and two Austrian ones at around noon.

Turbulence and high water caused some rafts to capsize, sending more than two dozen people overboard, but 15 were immediately rescued, police spokesman Egon Voegel told national broadcaster ORF.

The accident happened near Doren, a village 13 miles (20km) east of the provincial capital of Bregenz.

Eight of those pulled from the river were taken to hospital, fire brigade spokesman Werner Blum told ORF. Others were treated for minor injuries.

Summer rafting is a popular tourist activity in Austria, but in the last month Eastern Europe has been hit by heavy rain.

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From Belfast Telegraph