Australian boy buried by avalanche in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria

A chairlift on Skrzyczne mountain in Szczyrk Poland

Max Meyer's family issued a call for help after running into trouble while skiing off-piste near the St Anton resort in Tyrol on Wednesday afternoon local time, a police spokesman said.

At least seven people have died in the Alps during a weekend of heavy snow, with skiers facing a high avalanche risk in Austria, Germany and Italy.

Before rescuers could reach them, the avalanche swept down an extremely steep slope, the report said. "The woman was able to free herself from the snow and remained unhurt".

"It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that one of our students has died in an avalanche while skiing with his family", principal Shauna Colnan said in an email to parents dated January 10, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Max Meyer was part of the mock trials team at the International Grammar School in Sydney. The 16-year-old son was completely buried by the snow masses, " the statement reportedly said.

The school has reopened today and will be open next week for any students in need of counselling or support. "We will continue to support Max's family through the coming days and beyond".

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In neighbouring Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains.

The avalanche happened while they were waiting for rescuers.

Several railway lines in the Alps were closed because of the snow, and schools were closed in parts of Bavaria.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF previously reported that the weather was expected to calm on Friday but further heavy snow could be expected on Sunday.

More than a dozen people have been killed in weather-related accidents across the continent over the past week, most in avalanches. Snow was causing problems in other parts of Europe, even in Norway's Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

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