An Austrian man survived being buried under a massive avalanche in Gschnitztal, Tyrol, Austria for ten hours on Sunday. His companion, a 27-year-old German man, tragically died at the scene.
A rescue team was remarkably able to dig out the 23-year-old Austrian alive and conscious after he had been buried under 5 feet of snow. He is making a strong recovery.
The two men were reported missing around 6:45pm, hours after they failed to return home for lunch. A helicopter search team spotted the fresh avalanche in the Sandesalm area, at an altitude of around 6,200 feet. The avalanche covered an area around 1,300 feet long and 650 feet wide.
The rescue team was able to locate the two skiers. The older man was dead when they pulled him out of the snow, but the younger man was alive and talking.
“We didn’t think that anyone would have survived such a powerful avalanche,” helicopter pilot Helmut Metzler told the Austria Press Agency. Police said it was almost a miracle he had been able to survive for so long under the snow.