According to police, four skiers from Denmark were seriously injured when a gondola crashed in Oetz, Austria. One of them was flown to the clinic in Innsbruck in critical condition, said a spokesman for Bergbahnen Hochoetz. A German couple aged 58 and 62 also reported that they had also been injured in the gondola in front of the crashed cabin. It is still in shock and has not yet provided any further information, it said.
According to the police, the four seriously injured people were a 49-year-old who wanted to go to the slopes with his 46-year-old brother, his 19-year-old daughter and his 20-year-old son. According to the authorities, the 49-year-old was particularly seriously injured.
Tree fell on the cable of the gondola
A gondola on the Acherkogelbahn in Oetz in Tyrol fell into the snow from a height of around seven meters late in the morning. According to the police's initial findings, a tree had fallen on the cable of the gondola. According to a police spokesman, the branches may have hit the exact spot where the cabin was attached to the rope. The exact investigations into this were still ongoing. The almost three kilometer long cable car transports skiers from the valley to around 2000 meters above sea level.
The cable car was at full capacity when the accident happened, given the sunny weather, according to the cable car spokesman. All other skiers could have left the cabins safely in the valley or mountain station, said a spokeswoman for the police in Innsbruck. “The gondolas were empty and operations were then stopped.”
Salvage work is proving difficult
The rescue of the victims was difficult. The accident site was in rough terrain. According to the mountain railway spokesman, foot troops and helicopters were in action.
The authorities initially stopped operating the railway. It was still unclear how the accident could have happened, it was said. “The route is legally free of trees,” the cable car spokesman continued. In an initial analysis, the police assumed that there was neither a technical defect nor human error, but that it was a natural event.