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Dutch Prince Critically Injured In Avalanche

Helene Wiesenhaan/WireImage/Getty Images(INNSBRUCK, Austria) -- The second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is in intensive care with what sources in the Netherlands media say is a fractured skull, after he was swept up in an avalanche.

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands is in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, the Dutch government said Friday.  The government statement said that, “doctors treating him describe the prince’s condition as stable, but his life remains at risk.”

Prince Friso was skiing with three others in the Austrian resort of Lech when the avalanche hit around noon Friday.  The 43-year-old Prince and the rest of his party were skiing on unmarked slopes in an area on high alert for avalanches due to heavy snowfall.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that he was buried for 15 minutes. Prince Friso reportedly was unconscious when he was pulled from the snow, and had to be resuscitated. The three other skiers were not hurt.

Prince Friso is the manager of a private equity fund in London, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is not in line for the throne, because he married Mabel Wisse Smit without the government’s permission in 2004.

The Dutch government said the Queen was not involved in the accident. The mountain town of Lech in Austria is a favourite winter vacation spot for the Dutch royal family.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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