They demand the authorities of Ischgl who did not avoid contagions by Covid on a crowded ski resort

On Friday the first trial is opened in Vienna for the demand for several families in mourning by the Covid-19 in the Austrian Alps that point to the responsibil

They demand the authorities of Ischgl who did not avoid contagions by Covid on a crowded ski resort

On Friday the first trial is opened in Vienna for the demand for several families in mourning by the Covid-19 in the Austrian Alps that point to the responsibility of the authorities. More than 6,000 people from 45 different countries denounce that they or their loved ones were infected in the exclusive complex of Ischgl or its surroundings due to negligence and chaotic management in March 2020.

The audience, which will start at 10:00 A.m. (08:00 GMT), it opens a judicial marathon for a very extensive case: some fifteen legal actions have already been identified. The judges will examine the complaint presented by the Austrian Sieglinde Schopf. It happened a year and a half ago: her husband for 50 years traveled to the snowy slopes of the Tirol station, from where the virus spread like gunpowder in Europe. At the station, Sieglinde Schopf remembers having embraced him for the last time. A few weeks later, Hannes, an avid 72-year-old skier died of Covid-19, only in a room in a hospital near Vienna. "My world has collapsed," he trusted the AFP the Septuagenaria that she still blames herself for having encouraged him to make a getaway. "I can not forgive myself because in the end, I sent it to death."

Your lawyer, Alexander Klauser, believes that the list of infractions is long. According to a report by independent experts, a first alert issued on March 5 was ignored by Iceland, which was alarmed by the return of tourists contaminated in Ischgl. Skiers continued to huddle at the cable car's booths, while the night party was in full swing in the valleys.

"On March 8 it was clearly established that Ischgl's tourist staff had contracted the virus, but again the reaction was too weak, too slow, too late," denounces the lawyer, while the virus was already burning on the other side of the border in Italy. He thinks everything possible to allow the season to continue as if nothing. A few days later, the conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz decreed the local confinement and asked thousands of tourists who leave the place in a matter of hours, which, according to the victims and their loved ones, the disaster precipitated. Sieglinde Schopf is convinced that her husband was exposed to the virus during this evacuation. She claims 100,000 euros for damages.

"What civil parts want is that the Republic of Austria admits its responsibility, we have not had any trace of that until now," explains Klauser. This refusal "prolongs" the suffering of family members, she insists.

Among the thousands of people affected, around 5% has suffered a prolonged COVID, with headaches, sleep disorders and breathing difficulty. A total of 32 people died, according to the Association of VSV consumers that agglutinates the procedures. Although they expressed their sympathy for the victims, the authorities deny any non-compliance, considering that they acted in the state of knowledge at their disposal at that time.

Contact by AFP, the Prosecutor's Office, which represents the State, refused to "comment on an ongoing procedure". In this scandal, five people, including Werner Kurz, mayor of Ischgl, are subject to an investigation by "intentional or negligent administration of a communicable disease that has damaged the physical or mental integrity of other people." The Prosecutor's Office of Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol, referred the case to the Ministry of Justice, without knowing whether a criminal process will begin.

Updated Date: 21 September 2021, 04:47

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