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Avalanche drama in St. Anton: proceedings against first responders set

Innsbruck, St. Anton am Arlberg – The investigations against a rescuer after a deadly avalanche in St. Anton am Arlberg have been stopped. That informed the prosecutor Innsbruck yesterday. During the tragedy in January this year, a 1

6-year-old German-Australian was buried by the snow in front of his family. Although the first responder "with high probability" triggered the deadly avalanche, it is said by the prosecutor. But because he behaved "properly and professionally", he could not be reproached.

Flashback: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, in the ski resort of St. Anton. It's snowing. A family of four, living in Australia, drive from the Gampen into the free ski room. The German-born father (58), the mother (55) and the two sons at the age of 14 and 16, fall into a steep V-valley. The terrain and the high snow masses make progress impossible. The family sends out an emergency call. In the subsequent rescue, then it comes to the disaster. An avalanche goes off, tearing the mother and the 16-year-old with. While the 55-year-old can liberate herself, for her son any help comes too late. He is buried under a two-meter high blanket of snow and can only be recovered dead.

After the accident, the family had alleged that a piste rescuer had triggered the deadly avalanche. Before the man approached them, they were "not immediately in danger," the parents of the deceased are quoted in the British newspaper Guardian.

The Innsbruck prosecutor's office argues its decision by saying that all forces "act strategically and in terms of rescue technology "Would have. "Due to the weather, a search by helicopter was not possible, nor a view from the secured ski room. It was therefore necessary to try to look into the valley from one edge to locate the group. Although the rescuer was still in the flat terrain, the avalanche was triggered by its additional load. "

Happily pleased with the outcome of the investigation yesterday Hermann Spiegl, Country Director of the Mountain Rescue Tyrol. "The termination of the case testifies to common sense in the case law." Although every case should be re-evaluated, it is a "landmark decision for Spiegl. Those who only want to do good and help, must be less afraid to go to court. "(TT, bfk)

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