Number of Austrian fatalities abroad on the rise

The number of Austrians dying abroad soared in 2009, it has been announced.Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said today (Tues) 1,071 Austrian citizens died while abroad last year, up by around 10 per cent compared to 2008.”The number of Austrians who died in other countries was 959 in 2008,” the spokesman for the foreign affairs ministry said. He pointed out that, with 414, neighbouring Czech Republic recorded a significantly lower number of fatalities of Czech citizens abroad.Austria has around eight million residents, while 10.5 million people live in the Czech Republic.The number of Austrians travelling abroad has meanwhile been in decline for some years.Launsky-Tieffenthal said there was a wide variety of reasons for fatalities abroad, including sudden health difficulties, traffic accidents but also criminal acts such as robberies and kidnappings.One of the most tragic cases of this year was the death of a Styrian teenager in Venezuela.Amadeus Michael Novak-Ferrari from Graz became the victim of a ruthless kidnapping. His decaying corpse was found by police in April after he had been missing for around two weeks. The gangsters told his family they would release the teen in return for 700,000 Euros before his corpse was discovered.The 19-year-old was working at his grandfather¬ís glass fibre factory in the South American country and planned to return to Austria later this year to do his six-month mandatory military service.