Hiker finds bodies of six climbers

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The Independent Online

A hiker yesterday discovered the bodies of six mountain climbers in France's Hautes-Alpes region, the apparent victims of an avalanche.

Mountain police in Briançon said the bodies were found in a steep corridor at 2,700m (8,858ft), a day after the climbers left an alpine refuge. Police said the group apparently was headed, on two ropes, for a point at 3,614m (11,857ft) in the Massif des Ecrins.

The mayor's office in Villar d'Arène said a helicopter transported the bodies to the town hall for identification.