After the avalanche in Lech/Zürs in Vorarlberg on Sunday, the investigation work of the Alpine Police was in full swing on Tuesday. It is in the hands of the executive to understand the accident with a seriously injured person as accurately as possible. The incident is particularly explosive because athletes on an open ski slope were hit by the snow masses.
According to Rainer Fitz, head of the Vorarlberg Alpine Police, an intensive investigation was carried out on Tuesday. The first step is to question informants, witnesses and those responsible for the elevator company, Fitz said. As soon as the avalanche and weather situation allows, a wide variety of avalanche surveys will be conducted.
A snow profile is created
In this way, the avalanche is accurately measured, but also its nature. “Of course we also look at the snow pack and we make a snow profile,” said Fitz.
The avalanche came loose shortly before 3 p.m. on Sunday in the open ski area, but crashed on ski slope No. 134 (Balmen), where ten winter sports enthusiasts from Europe and the USA were surprised. A skier from Germany was seriously injured and transferred to intensive care in Innsbruck, three other people were slightly injured. The slope itself is dug in over a length of 500 to 600 meters and the lift operator is in principle responsible for safety on the slope.
Radiant in the morning
How the avalanche could have started in the first place was initially a mystery to those responsible on the Arlberg. “The fact is that the explosion happened in the morning exactly at the point of the avalanche,” emphasized Hermann Fercher of Lech/Zürs-Tourismus on Stefanitag. Still, apparently not all the snow had disappeared. In Lech/Zürs there was a significant avalanche danger of level three on the five-level scale over the weekend.
Possible factors for causing the avalanche could have been humans, animals or sun rays, but at first it was just speculation. The results of the investigative work of the Alpine Police should provide information. “We collect everything, at the end of our work there is a statement of facts at the prosecutor’s office in Feldkirch,” Fitz said. The authorities must then draw their own conclusions.
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