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Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Britons killed in Alps fall named

The Foreign Office has named the two Britons who died in a climbing accident in the French Alps on Friday.

David Freeman, 45, from Gloucester and his friend Mark Greenhalgh, 40, from Nailsworth, near Stroud, Gloucestershire were climbing near Mont Blanc when it is understood they fell 300 metres to their deaths.

According to French police, the pair were on the 3,700 metre high Cosmiques ridge when the accident happened.

Another man, described as a British resident, also died on Friday in a rock fall on the Meitin glacier in Switzerland, according to police.

Mont Blanc
Poor weather has made climbing conditions treacherous
Mr Freeman was a co-director of Rydal Interiors Ltd, a firm based at Innsworth, near Gloucester.

His business partner, Ian Wordsworth, said he would be sadly missed.

He said: "We've been through a lot together. He was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. He was laid back and never let anything get to him.

"He was my business partner and a great friend."

Mr Wordsworth said he had known Mr Freeman for 16 years and he had been a keen and experienced climber for many years before that travelling regularly to the Alps.

'Seven' deaths

The man was said to be leading a group of four climbers when he was hit by falling rocks at an altitude of 3,500 metres.

There have reportedly been seven deaths in the French and Swiss Alps in the past two days.


[David Freeman] was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet

Ian Wordsworth

A 15-year-old French boy is reported to have fallen to his death in a incident in the Embrun sector of the French Alps on Friday.

A Frenchman also died in a separate incident in the southern French Alps when he slipped while crossing a glacier and hit his head on a block of ice.

He was with two companions who were unhurt in the incident.

Treacherous

Late on Thursday two other climbers were killed in the southern Valais region of the Swiss Alps.

They fell over 600 metres from the slopes of the Matterhorn, Swiss police said.

The victims have not been named.

The onset of unseasonably poor summer weather is said to have made climbing conditions treacherous in the Alps.

See also:

28 May 01 | Europe
Lorry fire closes Alpine tunnel
13 Nov 00 | Europe
Safety fears across the Alps
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