Europe

'Heartbreaking': Tributes flow for Australian teen killed by avalanche

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A 16-year-old Sydney schoolboy has died while skiing after he was buried in an avalanche in the Austrian alps as his parents and brother looked on helplessly.

Sydney schoolboy Max Meyer was on a holiday with his family in Austria when tragedy struck. 

While skiing off-piste near the St Anton resort in Tyrol, Max was buried in an avalanche as his parents and brother looked on, unable to help as they had no emergency supplies with them.

Max Meyer was part of the mock trials team at the International Grammar School in Sydney.
Max Meyer was part of the mock trials team at the International Grammar School in Sydney.
International Grammar School Sydney

Rescuers responded to a call for help, but Max was unable to be revived. 

Shauna Colnan, principal of the International Grammar School, where Max was about to enter year 11, reportedly sent an email to parents and students on Thursday night announcing the tragedy.

At the school, Max was involved in mock trials and was part of a team that placed in the top four of a statewide competition late last year.

Sydney student Max Meyer was on a holiday to Austria with his family when he was tragically caught in an avalanche.
Sydney student Max Meyer was on a holiday to Austria with his family when he was tragically caught in an avalanche.
International Grammar School Sydney

"You inspired us all with your intellect, your deep thinking and your graciousness. Onward and upward to the next adventure," Ms Colnan wrote on the school's website following the achievement.

Workers use heavy machines to clear huge masses of snow from the streets of the village of Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria.
Workers use heavy machines to clear huge masses of snow from the streets of the village of Sankt Anton am Arlberg, Austria.
Getty

A former schoolmate wrote on social media that Max would be "missed by all his peers".

"He was an absolute buzz to be around and so smart, especially in languages. He was always first to participate in initiatives at school and always striving to be more involved," the post read.

"Absolutely heartbreaking".

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of reports of an Australian's death in the nation.

"The department stands ready to provide consular assistance to the family of the victim in accordance with the Consular Services Charter," it said in a statement on Friday.

Ski outings turned into dangerous experiences in the Austrian Alps and Slovakian mountains on Wednesday amid continuing heavy snowfall.

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

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