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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Swiss recruits die in avalanche
Jungfrau mountain, Switzerland
The eight survivors escaped unharmed, the Swiss army said
An avalanche in central Switzerland has killed six army recruits, the Swiss military has told the BBC.

Eight others were rescued after the avalanche struck on the northern flank of the Jungfrau mountain, 90km (55 miles) south-east of the capital, Bern.

The men had scaled about 3,800m of the 4,158m (13,642ft) peak when the accident occurred at 1000 (0800 GMT).

The team was said to be on a routine training exercise and was following a commonly used route.

Well-equipped

Swiss defence ministry spokeswoman Kirsten Hammerich told the BBC that the recruits were in their 17th week of a 21-week training programme.

She said they were well-equipped, adding that an investigation would be launched into what triggered the avalanche.

The bodies of all six victims have been recovered. The eight survivors escaped unharmed and were winched to safety to the nearby town of Lauterbrunnen, rescue workers said.

The accident is one of the worst in the Swiss mountains in recent years.


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