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Six US climbers feared dead in fall

Six climbers are believed to have died in a fall in a United States national park.

H elicopters detected pings from avalanche beacons and spotted climbing gear thousands of feet below the group's last known location in Washington state.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patricia Wold said searchers believe the group fell 3,300 feet from their last known whereabouts of 12,800 feet on Wednesday.

Park Ranger Fawn Bauer said yesterday: "There's not a viable chance of survival."

She says the helicopter crew spotted camping and climbing gear in the avalanche-prone area.

Air and ground searches were suspended late yesterday afternoon. Ms Wold said no recovery plans are in place because of the danger of falling rock and ice.

The missing group includes four clients of Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International and two guides. They were due to return from the mountain on Friday.


From Belfast Telegraph