imagePrince Charles, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, return to England with the coffin of their friend Major Hugh Lindsay at RAF Northolt in London, England. Major Lindsay was killed in an avalanche March 10, 1988 in Klosters that nearly killed the Prince. image

A distraught Prince of Wales took part yesterday in a desperate attempt to rescue one of his close friends, who was killed after being buried by an avalanche which swept down a mountain in the Swiss resort of Klosters where the royal party was skiing.

Prince Charles, who was not hurt in the incident, joined other members of the party in a frantic bid to dig out Major Hugh Lindsay, who was caught in the cascade of tons of freshly fallen snow which shot down Gotschnagrat Mountain in the fashionable ski resort.

A second member of the party, who was also trapped in the avalanche , Mrs Charles Palmer-Tomkinson, sustained leg injuries.

Major Lindsay, a former equerry to the Queen, was found to be dead on arrival at Davos hospital, to where he and Mrs Palmer-Tomkinson were helicoptered by the Red Cross after the accident.
image The incident occurred at 2.45 pm yesterday when the Prince of Wales, Major Lindsay, Mr and Mrs Palmer-Tomkinson, a Swiss guide and a Swiss police officer were in a stationary position off-piste near the Wang run.

According to Buckingham Palace, the avalanche started above them and all of the royal party were able to take avoiding action except the two victims, who were caught in the sudden slide of snow which had been building up on the mountain yesterday during a fresh and heavy fall.

Eye-witnesses said that Prince Charles, who was lifted off the slope by a second helicopter, was visibly distressed. The second helicopter pilot was quoted by locally based reporters as saying the Prince was weeping.

Neither the Princess of Wales nor the Duchess of York, who are also on the skiing holiday, were on the mountain when the avalanche occurred. They were both in the royal party’s chalet in Davos.

image The slopes on Gotschnagrat Mountain are amongst the steepest in Switzerland and are rarely open to the general public. They are regarded as suitable only for experienced skiers like Prince Charles.

Before yesterday’s tragedy there had been a heavy snowfall on the mountain, although it was not thought last night that the sudden change in weather conditions had led the Klosters authorities to issue an avalanche warning.

Major Lindsay was 34. His wife, Sarah, who is expecting a baby, works in the press office at Buckingham Palace.

A career army officer, he returned to his full-time army duties in 1986 after his spell in service to the Queen as an equerry.

Mrs Lindsay was being comforted by friends in London last night.
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