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Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 21:12 UK

Woman sees family die on mountain

The Mont Blanc massif - file pic
The Mont Blanc massif claims climbers' lives on a regular basis

A 50-year-old woman has witnessed her husband and three children falling to their deaths while climbing near Europe's highest peak.

The Dutch woman watched as the four victims, who were roped together, fell 1,600ft (500m) down an icy slope in the French-Italian Alpine range.

The woman was treated in hospital for the effects of shock.

The family had been climbing Mont Dolent - part of the Mont Blanc massif - which is 12,500ft high.

"We think one of them slipped and pulled the others down," Oscar Tajola, head of the mountain rescue team in the Italian town of Courmayeur, told the Associated Press news agency.

The woman saw the accident as she descended the mountain alone by another route, officials said.

She later identified the bodies of her husband, who was 56, their 20-year-old son, and two daughters, aged 17 and 23, which were recovered by Italian mountain rescue workers.


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