Australian teenager killed in avalanche in Austria

Blanche Robertson
January 13, 2019

The family made an emergency call but they were hit by an avalanche as they waited for rescuers to arrive, a police statement said.

The boy's father, 58, mother, 55, and brother, 14, were also struck by the avalanche but survived.

In Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains, and a seven-year-old child was killed in Aying, near Munich, by a tree that fell under the weight of snow.

Shauna Colnan, principal of the International Grammar School, where Max was about to enter year 11, reportedly sent an email to parents and students on Thursday night announcing the tragedy.

An Australian teenager has been killed in an avalanche in Austria while on holiday with his family, Austrian police have told ABC News.

"The school will be open tomorrow and next week, and senior staff, counsellors and I will be there to assist should you require support".

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Ski outings turned into risky experiences in the Austrian Alps and Slovakian mountains on Wednesday amid continuing heavy snowfall.

The avalanche happened while they were waiting for rescuers.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF previously reported that the weather was expected to calm on Friday but further heavy snow could be expected on Sunday.

At least 20 weather-related deaths have been reported in Europe in the past week.

It comes amid a huge downpour of snow in the region and the wider Alps area, with several other people killed.

Several railway lines in the Alps were closed because of the snow, trucks and cars got stuck for hours on a highway in southwestern Germany and schools were closed in parts of Bavaria.

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