British climber dies after falling 2,000ft down Eiger

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The Independent Online

A New Zealander and a Briton were killed in a fall while trying to climb the forbidding North Face of the Eiger, police said yesterday.

A New Zealander and a Briton were killed in a fall while trying to climb the forbidding North Face of the Eiger, police said yesterday.

Bern cantonal police confirmed reports in Swiss Sunday newspapers that a Channel Four television crew filming a documentary near by captured the fall on video.

Police - following usual Swiss official practice - refused to identify the victims, but said the New Zealander was 26 and the British man was 31. Police said the camera crew gave them a copy of their tape and that it would be used in an investigation into the accident.

SonntagsBlick said the accident occurred on the Second Icefield last Tuesday afternoon in warm, sunny weather.

The upper climber lost his grip and pulled the second, who was tied to him by a rope, after him, the newspapers said. They fell nearly 600 metres (2,000 feet). The bodies were recovered on Wednesday, police said.

The 1,800-metre wall of crumbling limestone is considered Europe's greatest challenge to mountaineers. More than 700 climbers have reached the peak since the first ascent in 1938, but more than 50 others have died.

The deaths bring to 38 the number of people killed in accidents in the Swiss Alps this summer. (AP)

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