Brothers crushed to death by glacier fall

By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent

It may have been youthful high spirits, or the awesome beauty of New Zealand’s Fox Glacier, that spurred brothers Ashish and Akshay Miranda to cross a safety barrier to take photographs. Moments later, the two Australians were dead, crushed beneath 100 tons of ice and rubble.

Tonight, more than 24 hours after an ice shelf collapsed, showering the brothers with rocks the size of large vehicles, the body of 22-year-old Akshay had yet to be pulled out. Conditions were too dangerous for rescuers to remain at the base of the glacier, where they retrieved the body of 24-year-old Ashish on Thursday.

Fox Glacier, on the west coast of the South Island, is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist attractions, visited by up to 1,000 people a day in summer. The victims were on holiday with their parents, Ronnie and Winnie Miranda, who watched in horror as their only children were buried before their eyes.

Fox, and neighbouring Franz Josef, at the foot of the Southern Alps, are among the world’s most accessible glaciers. But while tourists flock there to admire the views and go trekking, the ice is notoriously unstable, particularly after severe storms or a heatwave. The Department of Conservation says nearly one-third of visitors ignore warning signs and enter off-limits areas. Tim Groser, New Zealand’s Conservation Minister, said: “We’re dealing with a situation that is a highly dangerous and dynamic natural environment involving rock, ice and rivers.” He added: “To lose both your sons in a single instant is a tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions”.

The Mirandas remain in Fox Glacier township, waiting for Akshay’s body. Police said it was not clear when, or if, the search would resume. Ashish, an aerospace engineer, worked for Boeing. Akshay, an engineering student, was to complete his studies this year. Last Sunday, Akshay performed a 134m bungee jump, he excitedly informed friends in the last entry on his Facebook site. The family, Indian-born immigrants who live in Melbourne, had been due to fly home tomorrow.

Jo Macpherson, the DoC area manager, said Akshay’s body was believed to be trapped at the base of the glacier. “It’s very dangerous still,” she said. “There is no way the police will put anybody on the ground under the ice shelf the way it’s looking at the moment.”



News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week