Brit Skier Critical After Beating With Ski Pole On Slope

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

A British man has been airlifted to hospital after he was beaten unconscious by a snowboarder using a ski stick.

The incident happened on the ski slopes just as the piste was closing on the Zillertal Arena in Rohrberg in Austria.

The Zillertal Arena is the largest skiing region in the Zillertal Valley with 143 kilometres (88.8 miles) of slopes stretching over two provinces and with 52 cable cars and lifts.

But a snowboarder who may have been in a rush to catch the last lift at the end of the day almost collided with a group of skiers including a 55-year-old British man.

The Brit, who was not named, was unhappy about the near collision and when he tried to challenge the snowboarder, a row started that quickly became violent, according to local media.

Snowboarders travel without ski poles but it appears that the border snatched one from someone in the group, and he allegedly hit the British man over the head several times.

Because the British man was not wearing a crash helmet, he suffered severe injuries and had to be airlifted to the hospital in nearby Schwaz.

The snowboarder reportedly fled from the group after the British man collapsed.

Police have now appealed for witnesses who might be able to help identify the snowboarder, who is said to have been wearing a grey or anthracite coloured jacket and helmet at the time.

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