The Austrian Armed Forces were on Sunday around 15:00 p.m. due to an avalanche with eight helicopters in the Lech/Zürs ski area (Arlberg) on an assistance mission. Around 200 emergency services helped to find and care for the buried people.
On Sunday evening, the state of Vorarlberg requested assistance from the Vorarlberg military command, as nine people were suspected to have been buried. Fortunately, the police announced on Sunday night that four people were injured, but the other six people were not affected by the avalanche. The avalanche operation platoon of Jägerbataillon 23 from Bludesch and Landeck moved on Monday with 90 soldiers to support the security search in the Lech/Zürs operation area. The search ended in the afternoon.
“Over the winter months, specially trained Alpine soldiers are on standby throughout Austria. The current avalanche in Vorarlberg shows how necessary this willingness and the commitment of our army is to be able to help quickly in an emergency. I would like to thank all soldiers, especially those of Jägerbataillon 23, who provided support on site and who stand side by side with civilian emergency services during these challenging operations to prevent the worst - for the safety and help of the population". said Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner.
The Austrian Armed Forces have up to 400 alpine soldiers, mountain experts and four armed forces helicopters ready for avalanche operations. These forces, specially equipped and trained for the high mountains, are available for avalanche operations until at least the end of April - if they are requested to provide assistance. With a total of 15 avalanche platoons and groups and four helicopters in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the Armed Forces can support civilian emergency services if they need help.