A 13-year-old boy was killed in a landslide Sunday noon during an ascent to the world's largest ice caves, located 1,600 meters above sea level in the Tennengebirge Mountains in Austria, police said. According to the Salzburg police, quoted by the APA agency, another youngster was injured.
The teenager was hit in the chest while he and his parents were on the path leading from a cable car to the entrance to this classified natural site, "The World of Ice Giants", near Werfen in Pongau , in the Salzburg region. "400 meters above the site, a rock with a volume of about two cubic meters detached from the heavy rains on Saturday," said geologist Gerald Valentin.
About 200 visitors evacuated
When the accident occurred, approximately 200 visitors were in the ice cave and they had to be evacuated. Gerald Valentin recommended that authorities block the route to assess the protective measures. "The operator must find a way to further improve safety," said civil protection officer Norbert Passrucker.
With a length of 42 kilometers, this network discovered in 1879 is considered to be the largest succession of ice caves in the world. In high season, up to 2,500 people visit the demonstration cavity each day, which leads inside for about one kilometer and has monumental and crystalline arches.