View of the Hahntennjoch Pass. Photo: Christian Klingler/Wikimedia
The accident happened on Monday morning at the 1,894 metre-high Hahntennjoch Pass near the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol.
The small camper van with two Dutch tourists somehow slipped off the road at a corner and drove straight ahead, passing through the crash barrier and launching itself into the air. The vehicle then crashed down the side of the cliff before disintegrating on an overhang some 40 metres below.
One of the Dutch tourists was thrown out of the van, while the other got stuck inside the wreckage of the vehicle.
According to the Tyrolean police, a helicopter managed to rescue both tourists using a rope. They were taken to a hospital in Innsbruck with severe injuries.
The winding and steep road with slopes up to 18.9 percent is popular with tourists and car and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. The road is forbidden for traffic over 14 metric tonnes, and is generally closed from November to April because of snowfall. The present road was built in the late 1960s and opened in 1969.
It is already the second accident in less than a week on the scenic pass. On Friday, a motorbike with a sidecar also crashed down the mountain. A woman died in that accident, while her husband was taken to hospital with severe injuries.
Story courtesy of Central European News.