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Australian teen dies in Austrian avalanche

A Sydney teenager has had his life "tragically cut short" when he was killed in an avalanche while on a skiing holiday with his family in Austria.

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.

The 16-year-old was buried by the avalanche and although rescuers retrieved Max's body some 20 minutes later he couldn't be revived.

The teenager was a student at Sydney's International Grammar School which has offered support to his family and fellow students.

Principal Shauna Colnan says the 16-year-old was about to start year 11 but his life had "tragically been cut short".

"I have spoken with Max's father and have extended my deepest condolences on behalf of the IGS school community and offered the family all of our support," Ms Colnan said in a statement on Friday.

"I have also advised our school community that if they need support they can reach out to our counsellors and to senior staff and me for help."

Hugh McIntyre said Max was an "absolute buzz" to be around and was very smart especially when it came to languages.

"He was always first to participate in initiatives at school and always striving to be more involved," he posted on Facebook.

"Absolutely heartbreaking. He will be missed by all of his peers."

Australia's foreign affairs department is providing consular assistance to the teenager's family.

Winter storms are blasting Europe with hundreds of people trapped in alpine regions.

More than a dozen people have been killed in weather-related accidents across the continent over the past week, most in avalanches.

© DPA 2019