A huge group of school children and teachers fell into a trap after hiking up a treacherous mountain route. It took 50 salvage experts and two helicopters to rescue her
Teachers led 99 frightened school children along an extremely dangerous mountain hiking route and had to be airlifted to safety.
Two helicopters and 50 extraction experts were required to rescue the children from a route so treacherous it had been removed from official tourist guides.
A teacher leading the group of German schoolchildren, aged between 12 and 14, called for help when she and eight adults were trapped on the mountainous route in Hirschegg, on the Austria-German border.
It quickly became apparent that the exhausted children could no longer go further or back.
Angry Austrian officials have now beaten the adults for misunderstood hazard warnings.
Police said many of the children were not wearing proper walking shoes and two students were injured after falling down the rocky path in heavy rain, reports The Mirror.
Klaus Drexel, spokesman for the Vorarlberg mountain rescue service, said it was fortunate that his team had two helicopters to use for the rescue.
Drexel said: “We divided them into groups. The deteriorating weather conditions made this operation even more difficult.
“We take a very critical view of the latest developments on the Internet.
“Some trails that are listed and rated on various websites no longer exist.”
It later turned out that the teacher who planned the trip chose the route after reading a post on a hiking website.
It was described as an ideal opportunity for a “relaxed after-work stroll”.
But she didn’t realize that the post’s author was an experienced rock climber who had published nearly 300 hiking and climbing reports.
Drexel later warned, “Naively trusting what you read anywhere on the internet can put you in awkward situations.”
He appealed to tourists who are unsure about hiking trails to get advice from the local tourist office or from alpine clubs.
Several students were reportedly suffering from hypothermia and some needed advice from local psychologists.
Vorarlberg police spokesman Wolfgang Duer said: “Our teams have focused on getting the students down to the valley as quickly as possible.
“The emergency call was made in the late afternoon and it was getting dark quickly.”
It is unclear whether the school has to pay for the rescue.
The local police have lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office in Feldkirch.
In recent years, Austrian authorities have intensified their attempts to charge tourists for complex rescue operations.
There have been numerous instances where unwary vacationers have been flown to safety after opting for challenging hiking trails, clad only in flip flops or trainers.
Andreas Haid, mayor of the district town of Mitterberg, said it was becoming increasingly difficult to check the quality of hiking reports on the internet.
Haid said: “There are more and more people who act completely irresponsibly by putting such texts online.”
The Vorarlberg police say: “The narrow Heuberggratweg has climbing passages. Inexperienced people should not take it.