Rome: Four mountain climbers were killed yesterday after falling 3,000 metres down a crevasse in the Valtellina region of the Italian Alps, rescue workers said.

The victims were part of a group of six people attempting to climb Monte Disgrazia in the Bregaglia range northeast of Milan. Two members of the group decided to turn back as weather conditions worsened, but the rest continued.

Fog and freezing rain prevented a rescue helicopter reaching the area after an initial alert was sounded, forcing the rescue team to climb to the accident on foot.