A teenager has died in Austria after being caught in an avalanche while skiing, in the latest death caused by the severe weather gripping Europe, reports The Independent. Police officers said the Australian teenager died on Wednesday in the Alpine village of St Anton am Arlberg, where he was staying with his family.
The schoolboy had been skiing with his parents and brother when the family found themselves in an off-piste area covered in deep snow. They contacted the emergency services but an avalanche swept the teenager for hundreds of meters before rescuers could arrive. The unnamed boy’s 52-year-old mother was also caught up in the avalanche but managed to free herself from the snow without injury, according to local newspaper Tiroler Tagszeitung.
“In most skiing there is no reason for concern at present if people keep to the rules and don’t leave the secured slopes,” said Elisabeth Koestinger, the minister responsible for tourism in Austria.
The teenager’s death brings the number of weather-related fatalities in Europe, reported over the last week, to 17. Heavy snowfall continues to cause problems in Austria and southern Germany.
Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that the weather was expected to calm on Friday but further heavy snow could be expected on Sunday.