Australian woman, 27, killed in avalanche in Austria

AN Australian woman has been killed in an avalanche while snowboarding in Austria.

A group of four Australians were hit by a 150m-wide avalanche, which dragged them about 500m.

They were not buried, but were pulled along the surface, which was rocky in parts.

ABC News reports two helicopters were needed for the rescue operation.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is now in contact with the dead woman's family to offer consular assistance.

A 30-year-old Australian man was airlifted in a critical condition to hospital. 

He was taken to surgery on arrival. His condition is no longer considered critical.

The other two in the foursome -- an Australian man and woman -- were uninjured.

Avalanches have killed 21 people in this year's ski season.