Pope sends condolences to Austrians after tragic railway accident
On Sunday Pope John Paul II sent his condolences to Austria following a tragic Alpine funicular railway accident in which at least 150 tourists died.
The mainly Austrian, German, Japanese and American winter tourists were burned alive when the funicular train caught fire on its way up to the Alpine ski slopes of Kitzsteinhorn, south-west of Salzburg. Most of the victims were burned beyond recognition and will have to be identified through DNA testing.
A telegram sent by the Vatican press office to Archbishop Georg Eder of Salzburg mentioned that the Pope was "deeply affected" by news of the accident.
"He prays for the souls of the many victims of this accident and expresses in this hour of deep mourning his sympathy with their relatives."
The Holy Father himself was a keen skier in his younger days.