Father, son found dead in French Alps

March 17, 2013 at 5:45 PM
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CHAMONIX, France, March 17 (UPI) -- A British man and his 12-year-old son were found dead Sunday in a highly dangerous area of the French Alps, officials said.

The pair, from Buckinghamshire, England, had set of Saturday for a weekend of hiking in an area, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Investigators said they believe the son fell first, then the father died as he scrambled to reach his son.

Local police said they received a call from the father after the boy fell.

A police spokesman said: "The father said that the boy had fallen and he could not see him any more. The call was then cut off and the caller could not be heard anymore."

A search of area was conducted using helicopters and specialized police officers, the newspaper said.

Their bodies were found at about 7:40 a.m. Sunday in an area climbers call The Junction in the Bossons range of the Chamonix Valley.

Patrice Ribes, of the high mountain police in Chamonix, confirmed the deaths, saying the cause of death was likely a "fall of several hundred meters."

"The investigation will determine the circumstances of the accident, as well as the level of preparation of the hiker and his experience," Ribes said, adding that "each case of a fatal accident in the mountains was looked at individually."

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