An Australian family’s overseas ski holiday has taken a tragic turn with a teenage boy buried in an avalanche in front of his younger brother and parents.
The 16-year-old had been exploring parts of St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria with his family on Wednesday afternoon when they found themselves in rough, untracked and very steep terrain.
With no way to track through the narrow valley, they made an emergency call – but as they waited for the rescue team, a slab of snow broke away, causing an avalanche that covered the 16-year-old boy and his German mother.
“The woman was able to free herself from the snow and remained unhurt,” a police statement read.
“The avalanche came to a standstill at the bottom of the valley and had a thickness of up to four metres. The eldest son was completely buried by the snow masses.”
After 20 minutes of searching, the rescue team pulled the teen’s body from two metres of snow, however he was already dead.
Police said the victim had no emergency equipment such as an avalanche transceiver. His 14-year-old brother and parents, 55 and 58, were all uninjured in the avalanche.
A report is being prepared for the coroner.
His death comes at a time as parts of Austria and Germany struggle to deal with the heavy snowfall and wild winter storms.
The Austrian minister responsible for tourism, Elisabeth Koestinger, said that “in most skiing areas, there is no reason for concern at present if people keep to the rules and don’t leave the secured slopes”.
Yahoo7 News has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for further comment.