News National Australian soldier dies on Mt Cook

Australian soldier dies on Mt Cook

A photo taken on Wednesday of a rock fall on Mt Cook.
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An Australian man has been killed in an accident on New Zealand’s Mt Cook.

Police say the 44-year-old man fell 30 to 40 metres down a crevasse in the Grand Plateau area about 12.20pm (1020 AEST) on Wednesday and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Australian Defence Force in Canberra confirmed that an Australian soldier had died during a training activity on Mount Cook on Wednesday.

“As the situation is developing, Defence is unable to release any further detail of the incident at this time,” it said in a statement.

The man was one of a party of 10 people who’d been on the mountain, police say.

His body has been recovered and flown back to the Mount Cook Emergency Service Centre.

Police are advising his next of kin.

Alpine Guides manager Arthur McBride told AAP accidents like this happened occasionally on the mountain, but occurred anywhere there was crevasse terrain.

Mr McBride said crevasses could be invisible if snow fell over them, but if people were roped to each other they would usually be safe.

He said the accident was unrelated to the rock avalanche on the other side of the mountain on Tuesday.

At 3724 metres, Mt Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain.

This follows the death of two Australian snowboarders this week on Mt Bogong, Victoria’s highest mountain.