Dutch prince’s condition unchanged after ski accident

THE HAGUE - The condition of Prince Johan Friso, son of Dutch Queen Beatrix remained unchanged for the second night in an Austrian hospital after a horror skiing accident, the Dutch Royal House said Sunday.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 20 Feb 2012, 12:58 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 10:54 AM

“The health condition of his royal majesty Prince Friso remains unchanged,” at the intensive care unit of the Innsbruck University Hospital, it said in a statement issued in The Hague.

“He is stable, but not out of danger,” it added, using the same terms to describe the 43-year-old prince’s condition on Saturday.

A prognosis would most likely “not be given before the end of this week”, the statement added.

Prince Friso was skiing off-piste with an unnamed Austrian friend, around noon Friday when he was buried by an avalanche near Lech, where the Dutch royal family traditionally take their winter holidays.

Despite wearing a ski-helmet and an avalanche beeper, the prince spent some 20 minutes under the snow before he was rescued and had to be resuscitated, Austrian news reports said. He was evacuated to Innsbruck by helicopter.

Queen Beatrix, 74, as well as the prince’s wife Mabel Wisse Smit were again at the hospital Sunday, Dutch news reports said.

Other members of the Dutch royal family, including Johan Friso’s brothers, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, his wife Maxima, and younger brother Prince Constantijn with his wife Princess Laurentien arrived there Friday night.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS showed footage Sunday of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Maxima taking their three young daughters — as well as Prince Friso’s two small daughters skiing, saying they wanted to keep the situation “as normal as possible”.

In a statement, issued Sunday night, the royal family thanked well-wishers for their support.

“We are thankful and deeply touched by the well-wishes. It’s a great support in this difficult time,” the statement said.

Austrian prosecutors announced Saturday they had launched an investigation into the accident, though this is a routine matter in this kind of incident.

At the time of the accident, the avalanche alert level in Lech — as in much of Austria — was at four, the second highest.

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