Search for missing canyoning victims continues

Search and rescue teams were on Friday continuing efforts to locate two people still missing from Tuesday’s deadly canyoning accident in the Saxeten gorge near the Swiss tourist resort of Interlaken.

This content was published on July 30, 1999 - 09:41

Search and rescue teams were on Friday continuing efforts to locate two people still missing from Tuesday’s deadly canyoning accident in the Saxeten gorge near the Swiss tourist resort of Interlaken.

Search efforts, which involved sniffer dogs and an underwater camera focused on the Saxeten mountain stream and nearby Lake Brienz.

Nineteen bodies have been recovered so far. But police have said that identification is extremely difficult since none of the adventurers was carrying identification papers or other items – such as jewellery – which would speed up the identification process.

Swiss investigators are releasing the names of the identified victims on the Internet once their families have been notified. The address is: http://www.police.be.ch/

The special helpline for relatives is:

(International code for Switzerland), then 31 634 20 51.
(For calls made in Switzerland) 031 634 20 51.

“Persons who can give more information about the victims should contact the helpline,” investigators said on their website.

Canyoning involves swimming and sliding down fast-flowing rivers wearing padded wetsuits, life jackets and helmets.

Fifty-three people were on Tuesday's excursion. They had been begun the tour late in the afternoon, in groups of about 10. According to investigators, the wall of water surprised mainly the second and third group. Fourteen of the 19 victims found so far were from Australia.

Investigators were trying to find out if the groups had received a warning about a thunderstorm coming up just as they prepared to embark on the trip down Saxetenbach creek.



From staff and wire reports.

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