British man’s frozen body is found in Austrian mountain hut: Ski instructor ‘was poisoned after lighting a fire without realising chimney was sealed’
- British man, 36, had been living in the municipality of Buers as a ski instructor
- Officials say he forced his way inside a sealed mountain hut, before lighting a fire
- He was unaware chimney was sealed, and died of carbon monoxide poisoning
- His body was discovered frozen solid inside the hut, two months after his death
The body of a British man has been found in a remote Austrian mountain hut after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning two months previously.
The man, 36, who has not been named, had been living in the municipality of Buers in the district of Bludenz where he had a job as a ski instructor in the winter months and a guide in the summer months.
He is thought to have been dead for months before his body was found frozen in the hut, located 1,600 metres up the mountain.
The body of a British man has been found in a remote Austrian mountain hut , pictured above and below, after he died from carbon monoxide poisoning two months previously
He is thought to have been dead for months before his body was found frozen in the hut, located 1,600 metres up the mountain
Police say it was unclear if the man was caught unexpectedly in the mountains, and had decided to seek shelter there rather than trying to make it back down into the valley, or whether he had been squatting there.
Either way, authorities said that he had forced his way into the Alpine hut, unaware that part of the procedure of securing the huts for the winter also involved removing the chimney and sealing it with a metal plate to ensure snow cannot get inside.
This had been done on November 15 when the hut was last visited.
The man lit a fire inside the hut and subsequently died from carbon monoxide poisoning after failing to unseal the metal plate from the chimney.
After the fire died down, temperatures inside of the hut then plummeted, freezing the man’s body which was found two months later by two members of the Austrian Alpine Association.
Police have confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the man’s death.
A police spokesman said: ‘We believe he forced his way into the hut in order to spend the night there.
The man, 36, who has not been named, had been living in the municipality of Buers in the district of Bludenz. File image of Bludenz above
‘We know that the body was there for some time, but the exact amount of time is under investigation.
‘It’s also unclear whether he was squatting there or had been seeking shelter overnight.
‘We found some evidence that he had used a gas heater for a while, before then using the fire when that ran out.’
The spokesperson added: ‘The Sarotla-Huette mountain hut is located 1600m up the mountain and is actually three huts combined into one.
‘One is a small restaurant, another is for local farmers and shepherds, and the third is organised by the Austrian Alpine Association, responsible for maintaining alpine huts.’
The incident comes after 39-year-old British man Jamie Clark lost his life in an avalanche on the Swiss Alps earlier this week.
Clark was killed when snow engulfed ten people off-piste in Les Attelas area near Verbier at around 10.20am on Monday morning.
Helicopters, ski patrol and dog teams rushed to the avalanche to save the skiers, but Mr Clark was declared dead at the scene.
Jamie Clark, 38, from Doncaster, died on Monday morning in an avalanche in Verbier, Switzerland
The budding chocolatier, originally from South Yorkshire, had been living in Verbier for much of the last decade.
The avalanche happened below the Attelas ski lift area when snow came loose.
The local police force said: ‘At around 10.20am, a skier was driving down a corridor below the “Attelas” area.
‘A snow drift came loose and carried the skier as well as another person who had been further down at the time. The flow then buried eight other skiers who were even lower.’