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Man almost strangled on ski lift by daughter's harness

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A rescue team at the scene. Photo: ZOOM-Tirol
12:35 CET+01:00
A 42-year-old Austrian man is in an artificial coma after a horrific accident on a ski lift in Tyrol on Saturday in which he was almost strangled in front of his young daughter.

The man was teaching his five-year-old daughter to ski at a resort in Weerberg and was using a harness so that he could attach her to him, and help her slow down if she started to ski too fast.

He had looped the harness around his neck whilst the pair took a platter ski lift to get up the mountain and reach the pistes.

However, before they reached the top the little girl fell off the lift and as her father tried to get off to help her the harness got caught and he was left hanging from the lift by his neck. He was unable to breathe, had a heart attack, and lost consciousness.

He was dragged about ten metres through the air before the emergency brake was activated and the lift came to a stop.

A ski resort employee who had seen the accident on a surveillance camera rushed to the man’s aid on a Ski-Doo and was able to resuscitate him before a helicopter arrived to take him to hospital.

Another employee, who should have been watching the lift, was reportedly elsewhere at the time. The man’s daughter was not injured.

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Doctors at Innsbruck Hospital have said the man is in intensive care and in a stable condition but they have put him in a temporary induced-coma in an attempt to try and prevent any brain damage.

A spokesman for the ski resort has said a full investigation into the accident is now taking place, to try and determine what went wrong.

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