An Australian soldier has been killed after falling down a crevasse during a training exercise on New Zealand’s Mount Cook today.
The 44-year-old-man fell between 30 to 40 metres down a gap in the Grand Plateau area of the mountain shortly after midday local time today, NZ Police said in a statement.
The Australian Defence Force confirmed the Sydney-based soldier, who was a member of the 2nd Commando Regiment, had been killed during a training exercise. He was with a party of 10 people when the accident occurred.
“The Australian Army members were conducting a two week mountain and cold weather operations training activity in New Zealand,” the ADF said in a statement.
“No other Army members were injured and the training was immediately suspended.”
Shortly after the fall the soldier was recovered and his colleagues attempted to revive him. He was later flown back to the Mount Cook Emergency Service Centre where he was declared deceased.
The ADF said, “the soldier was highly qualified and experienced in alpine, mountain and altitude activities”.
The man’s next of kin has been notified of the tragedy.
The ADF’s Investigative Service unit will be assisting the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Coroner with their investigation.
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