Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Couple among victims of avalanche

Dr Rachel Majumdar, 29, who has been named as the fourth victim who died in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands (Family Handout/PA)
Christopher William Bell, 24, from Lancashire, was a student studying for a PhD in Ocean Mapping in Oban
Una Rachel Finnegan 25, from County Antrim, Northern Ireland

A couple who were looking forward to a "good future together" were among the victims of a killer avalanche which claimed four lives at the weekend, it has emerged.

Friends said hospital doctor Rachel Majumdar, 29, and PhD student Tom Chesters, 28, had been dating for several years and had a shared dream of carrying out voluntary work abroad.

They lost their lives alongside PhD student Christopher Bell, 24, and 25-year-old junior doctor Una Finnegan when they were caught up in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday afternoon.

The four, plus two others who survived the incident, were said to have been experienced climbers who loved the mountains.

Close friends described how Mr Chesters and Dr Majumdar had been an item since they met at university in Leeds.

Sam Morris, 35, said the only consolation in the tragedy was that the couple died side-by-side doing something they both loved. He said: "They were in love since they met in their first year of university. They were just so soft and sweet with each other - two people so at ease together. They were having fun making plans.

"They had dreams of doing voluntary work oversees together. Some of the comfort we have drawn is that these guys had been together to the end. At least they were doing what they liked doing."

Mr Morris, who worked with Mr Chesters and Mr Bell when they were mountain bike tour guides in the Alps, added: "All four of them were people with a bright future and all of them were committed to making a difference. It's such a loss."

Tragedy struck at about 2pm on Saturday as the group of friends made their descent on Bidean Nam Bian in Glencoe. One member of the party, an un-named man, survived by leaping from the collapsing sheet of snow and hammering an ice axe into firmer ground.

A 24-year-old woman from the Durham area, who was seriously hurt in the incident, remains in a critical condition in hospital in Glasgow.

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