Oxfordshire town mourns California victims

A BRITISH schoolboy was killed at an American ski resort when the chairlift he was travelling in collided with the one in front, which had stopped suddenly. Michael Roper, nine, of Carterton, Oxfordshire, fell 40ft (12m) to the ground, as did a friend, Philip Giles, 13, who was seriously injured. Michael was dead on arrival at hospital from the Sierra Ski Ranch near South Lake Tahoe in California.

He was the second resident of the town to die in the state on Sunday. In an accident at Modesto, near San Francisco, Stephen Murray, 33, was swept to his death when he fell overboard from a raft on the first day of a whitewater adventure holiday. Mr Murray was swept away in the river Stanislaus, from where his body was later recovered. His wife, Karen, 29, who is expecting their first child, arrived back in Britain last night.

A British graduate on a round-the- world trip was shot dead in Brazil after getting caught up in a gun battle between police and local bandits. Nicholas Lynch, 24, of Didsbury, Greater Manchester, died in Manaus at the confluence of the Negro and Amazon rivers.

One of the world's leading wildlife photographers died when he fell to his death from an airship while on a special assignment in Sumatra. Dieter Plage, 57, of Hethersett, near Norwich, Norfolk, died when he was filming the Indonesian jungle for Anglia's Survival programme, which he had worked on for 25 years.

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