Max's last minutes: how the Australian family desperately fought to free their son, 16, with their bare hands after being buried alive by an avalanche during a tragic European ski trip

The helpless family of an Australian teenager watched in horror as he was buried under a mountain of snow in a deadly avalanche in the Austrian Alps.

Max Meyer, a 16-year-old student from the Sydney International Grammar School, was killed while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg on Wednesday.

When the avalanche hit the popular ski resort, Max's family could do nothing but dig with their bare hands.

They had no emergency supplies – not even a shovel.

Max Meyer, a 16-year-old student from the Sydney International Grammar School, was killed while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg on Wednesday

Max Meyer, a 16-year-old student from the Sydney International Grammar School, was killed while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg on Wednesday

When the avalanche hit the popular ski resort (photo), Max's family could do nothing but dig with their bare hands

When the avalanche hit the popular ski resort (photo), Max's family could do nothing but dig with their bare hands

When the avalanche hit the popular ski resort (photo), Max's family could do nothing but dig with their bare hands

The tragedy began when the family, who were all experienced skiers, got stuck in "rough, uncontrollable and very steep terrain & # 39; around 4.40 pm local time.

They made an emergency call, but were soon struck by an avalanche as they waited for rescue workers to arrive.

Max and his mother were covered in snow. The 55-year-old could free himself.

Mountain Rescue team member Kurt Huettl told Nine News that it had been explained to the family that Max could not be rescued before the survivors were escorted on skis.

Tribute is buried for the 16-year-old, where a parent of a child in his high school describes him as a handsome boy.

The tragedy began when the family, who were all experienced skiers, got stuck in "rough, uninterrupted and very steep terrain." (photo)

The tragedy began when the family, who were all experienced skiers, got stuck in "rough, uninterrupted and very steep terrain." (photo)

The tragedy began when the family, who were all experienced skiers, got stuck in "rough, uninterrupted and very steep terrain." (photo)

& # 39; We got them out, but it was the hard way out. We had to pass some trees and there is a river, there are rocks and so it was hard to get them out, "he said.

& # 39; Unfortunately we could not bring the young man in this way, we had to use ropes to bring him up. & # 39;

Rescuers raised the boy's body twenty minutes after arrival in two meters of snow and could not bring him back to life.

The German father and younger brother of the teenager were not injured in the avalanche.

The ski village is close to the border of Germany and Switzerland (photo)

The ski village is close to the border of Germany and Switzerland (photo)

The ski village is close to the border of Germany and Switzerland (photo)

The Austrian ski village of St Anton am Arlberg (photo) has been hit by heavy snow in recent days, when the Australian boy was killed by an avalanche

The Austrian ski village of St Anton am Arlberg (photo) has been hit by heavy snow in recent days, when the Australian boy was killed by an avalanche

The Austrian ski village of St Anton am Arlberg (photo) has been hit by heavy snow in recent days, when the Australian boy was killed by an avalanche

Tribute is buried for the 16-year-old, when a parent of a child in his high school described him as "smart boy". who was always excited to learn new things & # 39 ;.

It was so "huge loss", said the parent.

A fellow student wrote on Facebook: "He was an absolute buzz about being around and so smart, especially in languages.

& # 39; He was always the first to participate in school initiatives and always strive to be more involved. Absolutely heartbreaking. He will be missed by all his peers. & # 39;

An autopsy will determine the cause of the death of the teenager in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

An autopsy will determine the cause of the death of the teenager in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

An autopsy will determine the cause of the death of the teenager in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

Parents at school were told that counselors and senior staff would attend school today.

Max Meyer was about to enter 11 years and his life has been tragically demolished, & # 39; said the director, Shauna Colnan.

An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death, which is still the subject of ongoing police investigations.

The teenager was buried while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

The teenager was buried while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

The teenager was buried while skiing with his parents and brother in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

Daily Mail Australia contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for further comments.

At least 15 people have died in the European snow chaos that caused confusion all over the continent in the last few days.

The highest red warnings are present in Germany and Austria, with more heavy snow expected to fall in the coming days.

At least 15 people have died in the European snow chaos in recent days, including an Australian teenager who was buried alive by an avalanche in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

At least 15 people have died in the European snow chaos in recent days, including an Australian teenager who was buried alive by an avalanche in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

At least 15 people have died in the European snow chaos in recent days, including an Australian teenager who was buried alive by an avalanche in St Anton am Arlberg (photo)

It is expected that more heavy snow will fall with the highest red warnings in place in Germany (pictured) and Austria

It is expected that more heavy snow will fall with the highest red warnings in place in Germany (pictured) and Austria

It is expected that more heavy snow will fall with the highest red warnings in place in Germany (pictured) and Austria

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