Emily O’Rourke from Mullingar, Ireland, dangled for nearly a minute before she slipped from the grasp of fellow skiers onto the ice and snow thirty feet below in Westendorf, Austria. She is being treated for three cracked vertebrae in a hospital in nearby Sankt Johann. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery after Sunday’s fall.
Skiers watching from the ground said they had seen the unidentified German pair clinging onto the child. Police said they grabbed Emily and according to witnesses tried to hang on to her until the lift could reach the landing station – but after a minute they could no longer hold on.
The couple were initially praised but, when they refused to discuss how the lift bar had been raised during the trip and then fled saying they wanted to enjoy their remaining time on the slopes, critics have questioned their behavior.
Though there are still many open questions about how the accident could have occurred, the couple did not even leave their contact details in case of any inquiries.
The young girl remains in the hospital and has no memory of the safety bar being raised.
Police said that adults travelling with children had a duty of responsibility to make sure the safety bar was down and that they were secure.