How is it in Switzerland?
There have never been so many deaths on Austria’s ski slopes!
There have never been so many deaths on the ski slopes in Austria. More than half of the people had an accident in the Tyrol. How precarious is the situation in Switzerland? Blick asked the hospitals.
13 winter sports enthusiasts have already lost their lives in Austria – a sad record. (archive image)
A number of dramas took place on the Austrian ski slopes this winter. Since the start of the season in November 2022, 13 people have died in accidents. There have never been more. “So far we have had twice as many deaths on the slopes as in previous years. So far there have been 200 police recordings, including 100 seriously injured,” says Innsbruck chief inspector Stefan Eder (50) to “Bild”. In Tyrol alone, eleven people lost their lives.
There are even fewer accidents compared to previous years. But when it crashes, it often has deadly consequences. One reason is the lack of snow, as Eder explains. “Important fall areas are missing. Skiers fall over the dangerous edge of the piste after making mistakes, overestimating themselves or going too fast. The artificial snow also makes the slopes rock-hard in the morning.”
“The pilots have gotten worse”
The Austrian Board of Trustees for Alpine Safety (Ökas) brings another aspect into play. «There is often a lack of ski fitness. After the Corona years, many people are even less practiced in winter sports than before, »says Ökas President Peter Paal. And adds: “The pilots have gotten worse.” The Austrian Alpine Association complains that the operators of the slopes must also do their part to ensure customer safety.
President Andreas Ermacora appeals to their common sense: “Operators have to ask themselves whether icy slopes will be closed in individual cases when conditions like the current one prevail.” The track quality is crucial. Holes or other bumps can become deadly.
“Fewer skiing accidents than last year”
While it looks bad on the slopes in Austria, it’s not so dramatic here and in Germany. There have been no deaths so far. The number of injuries is also limited. “We are not finding any increased accident figures,” explains the Davos hospital when asked by Blick. Likewise in the Inselspital Bern. It’s also quiet in Nidwalden: “Our emergency is currently recording fewer ski accidents compared to last year.”
To keep it that way, Andreas Falkeis (59), head of the Landeck Alpine Police, has a few tips: “Be sure to adapt your speed and willingness to take risks to the circumstances. Rule of thumb: The vehicle in front always has the right of way and only overtake at a large distance. If there is hardly any snow away from the pistes, ski in the middle of the pistes.» He has a special tip for snowboarders: “Don’t sit behind curves on the slope, there are hardly any alternatives with the current snow conditions.” (abbot)