PMore than 100 German students and teachers, who were hiking at 1,800 meters above sea level, were rescued by helicopter in the alpine valley of Kleinwalsertal, Austria, police said overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. A total of 99 teenagers aged 12 to 14 and eight teachers from Ludwigshafen, in Rhineland-Palatinate (west), were stuck on a course that was too difficult given their equipment and abilities.
The teachers had selected the route based on misleading information found on the internet. The route chosen was described as a classic walk without difficulty, police said. “In reality, the narrow Heuberggrat is a partially exposed trail with rock sections, which requires freedom from vertigo, precision and experience in alpine terrain. The floor was also wet and slippery.
When part of the group decided to turn back, two students slipped and were slightly injured. Some teenagers panicked. The teachers then called for help. The 107 people were transported by two helicopters to a nearby logging road, Mittelberg Mayor Andi Haid said. In addition to the two injured, several students were “dead of fatigue, hypothermia, soaked and completely exhausted”, according to the police.