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Prince Johan Friso

February 17, 2012 by staff 

Prince Johan Friso, Dutch Prince Johan Friso is in a critical condition after being hit by an avalanche while on a skiing holiday in western Austria.

Officials said the prince, 43, was buried under the snow for about 15 minutes before being rescued.

He was resuscitated at the scene and taken to hospital in Innsbruck – the Dutch government said he was stable but “not out of danger”.

Prince Friso is the second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Several members of the royal family had been on holiday together in the resort of Lech, in the Austrian Alps.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that the queen was there but had not been involved in the incident.

Stefan Jochum, a spokesman for the ski resort, said the prince had been skiing with a small group off the marked pistes when the avalanche hit shortly after midday local time. No-one else was injured, he said.

The Austria Press Agency quoted Lech’s mayor, Ludwig Muxel, as saying the prince had been buried by an avalanche measuring about 30m wide by 40m long.

Deadly season
The Dutch government said the prince’s condition was stable but that he was “not out of danger”. An earlier statement said he was in intensive care and that his life was “at risk”.

The statement said Queen Beatrix and Princess Mabel were with him but that it would be several days before a full prognosis could be given.

The Austrian Alps have been hit by particularly heavy snow this winter and numerous avalanches. Parts of Voralberg were cut off by the snow this week and an avalanche warning was in place around Lech.

Several people have been killed across Europe this year in avalanches.

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