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National Park Drowning release 3


National Park Drowning release 3

New Zealand Police have reported that seven people are dead following an incident in rugged bush in the National Park area, Ruapehu in the Central North Island.

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The bodies of the last pair of students missing since their group got into difficulties in a stream in rugged bush in the National Park area of Ruapehu District yesterday have been found.

Central Police District Operations Services Manager, Inspector Dave White, said the bodies would not be able to be recovered until first light given the inaccessibility of the sight.

"The conditions don't allow their recovery by helicopter at this time and it would be too difficult to conduct an extraction in the dark and we will be better placed to carry out recovery at first light," said Mr White.

The 10 Elim Christian College students had been part of a larger group down from Auckland taking part in adventure training at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

They were being accompanied by a teacher and an adult instructor when their party got into difficulty in the Mangatepopo Gorge about 4pm and were swept away in the Mangatepopo Stream.

The 5 remaining other people in the group were found relatively safe and well with one being taken to Taupo Hospital for treatment and the others being given victim support.

Names of the deceased are yet to be released and Police are still carrying out the formal identification process.

The deaths have been referred to the coroner.

Police and representatives from the school will be meeting this morning and families of those from the group are asked to contact the school with any queries.

END

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