Tuesday, 10. December 2013 - 05:12
13. 02. 13. - 15:00
A 10-year-old British schoolgirl has died after skiing into a tree at high speed during a family holiday tragedy in the Austrian Alps.
The youngster had been skiing with her dad and brother at the Mayrhofen resort when she is said to have lost control and shot off into an off-piste area.
After careering out of control through a heavily wooded area, witnesses say she was unable to stop and hit the tree at full speed.
Her horrified father and brother gave her first aid on the slope before mountain rescuers arrived.
Paramedics airlifted the youngster to hospital in Innsbruck by helicopter within minutes of Sunday's ski crash, but health officials this morning (Tuesday) confirmed she had died.
One rescuer said: "The child was in a bad condition when she was taken to hospital. It didnít look good."
"She'd suffered head injuries. We treat all head injuries as serious especially when children are involved.
"She was wearing a helmet, which will have helped her, but they cannot protect you from all injuries. It was clear we needed the helicopter to transfer her as quickly as possible," he added.
One fellow skier on the slope who saw the tragedy said: "I saw a child leave the piste at a very fast speed. I stopped but I was already too far down the slope."
"I heard a lot of screaming. A short while later I saw the helicopter landing at the scene.
"The slopes were very busy. We live locally and this time of year always sees many tourists visit the area," they added.
Mountain rescuers say the girl was unconsciousness by the time she'd been airlifted to hospital.
"Rescuers were at the scene very quickly and she was airlifted to Innsbruck shortly after the accident.
"The ski resort of Mayrhofen had a lot of visitors at the weekend, it is the school holiday period here in Austria and we also have many foreign guests on the slopes at this time.
"It is the busiest time of the season. The route was busy at the time of the accident as skiers made their way down the slopes at the end of the day," said one of the team.
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