A tragic incident occurs in the Austrian Kaiser mountains: a person is buried by a rock avalanche. The casualty is a KSK soldier. Finding him is extremely difficult. Now there is sad certainty.
A German Bundeswehr soldier who had an accident in Tyrol and was buried by rocks has been recovered dead. Military and police forces were able to locate the 30-year-old in the afternoon, according to the Austrian police. The man's body had already been brought down into the valley. He was a soldier in the Special Forces Command (KSK), an elite unit. He was caught when 50 cubic meters of rocks fell down the mountain.
The accident on Thursday happened when the elite unit was completing mountain training. Chunks in the size of five cubic meters fell down on the Stripsenjoch, said a spokesman for the operations control center. The circumstances of the rescue work were said to be life-threatening due to fog, wetness and the risk of loose rock and had to be interrupted on Friday night. Search work by the military and civilian forces remained unsuccessful for a long time.
Four other Germans with whom the buried person was traveling remained unharmed. The five had abseiled over a 40-meter-high rock face, the police said. When the 30-year-old reached the foot of the wall, he wanted to climb back up a path to the starting point when the large rock avalanche fell over him. His comrades, who were already at the top, would have immediately started searching and alerted emergency services.
The German commandos are trained to become army mountain guides. "All commandos receive mountain combat training to be prepared for combat in difficult terrain," the KSK said in a statement. The KSK is stationed in Calw (Baden-Württemberg). Defense Secretary Christine Lambrecht expressed her dismay at the soldier's death. A statement on Twitter said: "My thoughts and sympathy are with the family, relatives and comrades."
(This article was first published on Friday, June 10, 2022.)