Six Russians were killed and two others were injured after their snowmobile slammed into a fence and flipped over into a ditch at an Italian ski slope.
RAI state radio reported early on Saturday that the crash occurred on an unlit slope, late Friday night, on Mount Cermis in north-east Italy.
The Russian consul general in Milan, Alexei Parmonov, said on Russian state television that he was in contact with Italian investigators, who suspect that excessive speed might have caused the crash. They also were checking the possibility of a mechanical malfunction.
Mr. Parmonov identified the four men and two women who died in the crash. Five of the group who died and one of the injured men were tourists from Krasnodar, a city in southern Russia near Sochi, which is preparing to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics.
One of the dead women and the other injured man worked in Italy in the tourism industry.
The Russian diplomat gave the names of the dead as Denis Kravchenko, Irina Kravchenko, Vyacheslav Sleptsov, Yulia Yudina, Lyudmila Yudina and Rafilya Pshenichnaya. The injured, he said, were Boris Yudin and Azat Agafarov. All except Pshenichnaya and Agafarov were tourists from Krasnodar.
Yudin’s 17-year-old son, who stayed behind in the hotel, lost his mother and sister in the accident, while his father was hospitalized with multiple fractures, Mr. Parmonov said.
In 1998, a U.S. Marine jet, flying low on a training run from a nearby air base, accidently sliced a ski gondola’s cable on Mount Cermis, sending the cable car crashing to the ground and claiming 20 lives.