News National Defence names soldier killed in NZ

Defence names soldier killed in NZ

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Defence has named a commando killed in a training accident in New Zealand as Sergeant Gary Francis.

Sergeant Francis, 44, a member of the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment, died during a mountain and cold weather training activity at Mount Cook in New Zealand on Wednesday.

An investigation is underway into his death and Defence said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment or speculate on the circumstances.

“Defence continues to provide support to Sergeant Francis’ family and requests that media respect the family’s wishes for privacy at this difficult time,” it said in a statement.

New Zealand Police said he 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.