Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands injured in an avalanche in Austria
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Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands injured in an avalanche in Austria

Innsbruck : Austria | Feb 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM PST
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Dutch Prince 'Buried Alive by Avalanche' in Lech; Johan Friso's 'Life Remains at Risk'



Prince Johan Friso of Orange-Nassau and Amsberg, the second son of Queen Beatrix, is in critical condition after being caught in an avalanche Friday in Lech (west), in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, announced the University Hospital of Innsbruck.

His condition is "stable", but "critical", told AFP a spokesman for the hospital.

The press service of the Dutch Royal House said the son of the queen was in a "stable", but he was not "out of danger." "According to doctors who deal with Prince Friso, a prognosis can be given in a few days," one source said.

This information was confirmed on Friday night up to Lech by a spokesman for the Royal House, Wiltjer Marianne, who nevertheless said he was not able to specify if the prince was in a coma or not.

Johan Friso, aged 43, was transported by helicopter to University Hospital of Innsbruck, reported the Austrian news agency APA.

Avalanche risk level 4

The accident occurred around noon, Prince Friso was the only person caught in the avalanche. He had to be resuscitated after spending twenty minutes buried in snow, said Mayor Lech, Ludwig Muxel, public radio ORF Vorarlberg.

According to the mayor, he was skiing in the company of a friend, while the avalanche warning level was four on a scale of five, but the part of the track on which he had committed was not prohibited skiers.

According to the spokesman for the Tourism Lech, Pia Herbst, the prince was wearing a helmet and was equipped with a tag. Therefore, with the help of his friend who could be reached only from the snow because he wore a backpack antiavalanche said, rescuers were soon able to rescue the prince whose beacon was emitting a steady tone.

Queen Beatrix and Prince's wife, Mabel Wisse Smit, stand beside it, said the press service of the royal house. The Dutch royal family regularly visits the posh resort of Lech for winter sports, Queen Beatrix will stay the same for the 47th time in the five star hotel "Gasthof Post".

"I made him know (note: the queen) that the Netherlands entirely sympathize," said Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, quoted by news agency ANP.

Prince Johan Friso, aged 43, is the second son of Queen Beatrix and the brother of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander. He married in 2004 with Mabel Wisse Smit. Two daughters, Luana, six, and Zaria, five years, he lives with his family in London.

Former employee of Goldman Sachs, he is CFO since 2011 in the British company Urenco, specializing particularly in uranium enrichment.

The Dutch government did not authorize his marriage, Prince Friso is no longer an official member of the Dutch Royal House and thus does no longer a factor for the throne. He retains the title "Prince of Orange-Nassau" personal.

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Ludwig Muxel, mayor of the ski resort of Lech points on the map where the avalanche buried Dutch Prince Johan Friso in the western province of Vorarlberg
Ludwig Muxel, mayor of the ski resort of Lech points on the map where the avalanche buried Dutch Prince Johan Friso in the western province of Vorarlberg
Abdel Fattah Hussein is based in Cairo, Kairo, Egypt, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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