Aussie Teen Killed In Austrian Avalanche As Family Look On

Sow covers a Jesus Christ figure near Szczyrk Poland

A 16-year-old Australian boy has been killed in an avalanche in Austria, local police said.

Parents and students at the school received an email on Thursday evening informing them that Max Meyer died on a European holiday with his family.

In neighbouring Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old Slovak man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains.

The mother and 16-year-old were caught in the slide, the boy buried under two metres of snow.

It has been reported that the boy was skiing with his parents and 14-year-old brother they were caught in hard off-piste terrain and called for help.

According to police, Max's mother freed herself and was uninjured, but her son was "completely buried" and trapped for 20 minutes. The second week of January has brought heavy snow to much of continental Europe whilst the United Kingdom remains relatively mild for the time of year.

The family was believed to be from NSW, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The boy was a German-Australian who went to school in Sydney.

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"I have spoken with Max's father and have extended my deepest condolences on behalf of the IGS school community, and offered the family all of our support. We will continue to support Max's family through the coming days and beyond".

Parents at the school were told counsellors and senior staff would be on hand at the school today.

Australia's foreign affairs department is providing consular assistance to the teenager's family.

Six German teenagers were luckier, emerging alive from an avalanche that engulfed them at the Wildkogel resort in Austria's Salzburg province.

Several railway lines in the Alps were closed because of the snow, and schools were closed in parts of Bavaria.

The heavy weather has caused at least nine deaths in Austria.

On Norway's Arctic Svalbard islands, more than 100 people were evacuated as a precaution because of a storm and the risk of avalanches.

It comes amid a huge downpour of snow in the region and the wider Alps area, with several other people killed.

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