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ZURICH (Reuters) - A stranded Austrian mountain hiker and her would-be rescuer fell to their deaths when a line hoisting them into a police helicopter gave way, sending them and the woman's husband plunging into a gorge below.

The husband was critically injured but survived the incident on Sunday in Styria province, local police said on Monday.

The police helicopter had responded to a distress signal from the Viennese couple, and a 28-year-old officer had attached himself and the two of them to the rescue line. The cause of the accident was still under investigation.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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