Couple die in Norway glacier accident

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Oslo -

A German couple died in front of their two young children when ice broke during a tour of a melting Norwegian glacier, police said on Monday.

The accident happened on Sunday afternoon near or on the Nigard Glacier in west Norway, a popular and accessible part of the Jostedal Glacier, the largest in Europe.

The police said, following a tour with a group in the area, the couple returned to the glacier with their two children, aged 8 and 10, when a block of ice broke off.

But they could not say whether the ice landed on the couple or the ice gave way beneath them and they fell to their deaths.

The children were reportedly being cared for by the local authority's crisis unit in the village of Luster until relatives could arrive from Germany.

According to newspaper Bergens Tidende, the family was in an area near the glacier which was clearly marked as dangerous.

“The media claim the area had danger signs and was partially cordoned off but that has not yet been verified,” local police officer Norvald Ylvesaaker told AFP.

Bergens Tidende added that the Nigard Glacier was prone to accidents in the summer months due to melting blocks of ice.

In July 1986 a Danish woman and her eight-year-old daughter were killed by a falling block of ice and in August 1994 a Polish woman was seriously injured in similar circumstances, the newspaper wrote.

The German embassy has been in touch with relatives of the couple but has not disclosed their identities. - Sapa-AFP

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