Helicopter evacuates tourists caught by avalanche

Two men dug out from an avalanche by members of the Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue (TOPR) team, have been evacuated by helicopter to a Zakopane hospital

The TOPR team helped to evacuate the two men from Suchy Wierch Ornaczanski, after an avalanche swept the tourists off the trail.

The victims did not suffer serious injuries and managed to walk the short stretch from the helicopter landing pad to the hospital entrance without assistance.

A class 2 warning for avalanches has been issued in the Tatra Mountains, where conditions for hiking are particularly difficult in the higher parts following heavy snowfall.

According to Tatra National Park (TPN) services, the trails are covered with snow, with many not visible at all.

Strong winds have created deep snowdrifts along the trails. TPN states that only experts with a lot of experience of the Tatra Mountains possess the ability to assess local avalanche conditions and which route to choose.

Without the appropriate winter equipment, such as crampons, an axe and a helmet, traversing the area in the current conditions is virtually impossible according to TPN.