March 1, 2012 / 3:41 PM / 8 years ago

Dutch prince hurt in avalanche flown out of Austria

Dutch Prince Johan Friso poses with his wife Mabel and their daughters Countesses Zaria (2nd L) and Luana during a photocall at the Austrian alpine ski resort of Lech am Arlberg February 19, 2011. REUTERS/Miro Kuzmanovic

VIENNA (Reuters) - Dutch prince Johan Friso, who suffered severe brain damage when he was hit by an avalanche while skiing in Austria last month, was flown out of the country by air ambulance on Thursday, police in Innsbruck said.

“He was flown out around 2 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT),” a spokesman said, but gave no more details.

The Austria Press Agency cited unidentified sources as saying the 43-year-old prince was on his way to a rehabilitation centre in London, where his immediate family lives.

Queen Beatrix’s middle son, who gave up his right to the throne a decade ago, was skiing off-piste near Lech in the Austrian Alps when he was caught in an avalanche.

His doctors said his brain was starved of oxygen during cardiac arrest that lasted 50 minutes and that he may never come out of a coma.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Karolina Tagaris

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