Aussie soldier dies on Mt Cook

New Zealand police have confirmed that an Australian man has died on Aoraki-Mt Cook after falling 40 metres down a crevasse on the Grand Plateau.

Australian media have reported that the man was an Australian soldier who was taking part in a training exercise.

Police said the 44-year-old man was one of a party of 10 people and fell shortly after midday today.

The victim's body has been recovered and has been flown back to the Mount Cook Emergency Service Centre, and police are now advising the next of kin.

The matter has been referred to the Coroner.

Alpine Guides manager Arthur McBride told the Herald he had heard one person had been "involved in an accident on the Grand Plateau''.

"There were helicopters all over the place''.

The location of the accident was "a long way away'' from a large rock avalanche about 12pm on the south face of Mt Cook, he said.

The Australian Department of Defence has confirmed the 44-year-old man was an Australian solider.

"Defence can confirm that an Australian soldier has died during a training activity in Mount Cook, New Zealand on Wednesday, 16 July, 2014 at approximately 1pm," the department said in a statement.

A member of the Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine cliff rescue team described conditions on the Grand Plateau as "calm and clear, pretty much idyllic".

Jim Spencer declined to comment on details of the rescue, and said the man was taken to the park's emergency service rooms where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

 

 

 

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