Westmeath girl survives plunge at ski resort

A young Westmeath girl who was seriously injured in a fall at a ski resort in Austria is due to return home tomorrow.

Ten-year-old Emily O’Rourke of Moyvore, Co Westmeath cracked three vertebrae when she fell almost 10 metres from a ski lift onto a frozen slope in the Austrian resort of Westendorf on Sunday morning.

Austrian police are attempting to trace two German tourists who were on the chair lift with Emily and a friend at the time of the fall, but left the resort shortly afterwards.

Skiers reported seeing Emily cling to the German man before slipping from his grasp and hitting the slope. She was rushed to hospital by helicopter, where doctors say she was lucky to have survived the fall with relatively minor injuries.

It is reported that the German couple declined to stay at the scene or to leave their personal details with staff, saying only that the security bar had failed to close.

However, speaking on Wednesday, her parents Caroline and Frank said they believed the couple were not to blame for the fall, and that they had done their best for Emily.


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