Aussie soldier killed on Mt Cook named

The Australian Department of Defence has named a special forces soldier who fell to his death on Aoraki/Mt Cook yesterday.

He was Sergeant Gary Francis, a father-of two.

Sergeant Francis died during a mountain and cold weather training activity on the mountain's Grand Plateau when ice gave way and he fell into a deep crevasse.

The 44-year-old was posted to Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment.

"It would not be appropriate for defence to comment or to speculate on the circumstances surrounding Sergeant Francis' death while inquiries are underway," the Defence Force said.

A team-mate was lowered down the 30-40m crevasse to retrieve him using a pulley system.

"The soldier was recovered by his colleagues who administered first aid," the Department of Defence said in a statement last night.

"Sadly, they were unable to revive him and the New Zealand emergency services later declared the soldier deceased."


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