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Man and son, 12, die in French Alps
A British man and his 12-year-old son have been killed on a hiking trip in the French Alps.
The 48-year-old man called for help at 2pm local time on Saturday when his son fell down a cliff near Mont Blanc, Captain Patrice Ribes said.
Their bodies were found together on Sunday morning and next of kin have been informed of the tragedy.
Emergency services in Chamonix tried to trace the unnamed man's mobile phone call and launched a helicopter rescue.
Mr Ribes, a French police officer, said: "We think the father tried to find his son after he called us and asked for rescue. We believe he fell as he tried to find his son. Their bodies were found together this morning at 7.40am."
The man and boy were exploring a "dangerous, deep, snowy" mountain trail between Bossons and Les Houches, Mr Ribes said.
French police liaised with Interpol and British authorities to establish the man and boy's identities, he said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of two British nationals in the French Alps and are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."
Richard Mansfield, a mountain guide who has worked in the area for 20 years and lives 1km from the Bossons glacier, said: "I don't know exactly where the accident happened but all the trails on the north side of the valley are covered in snow at the moment. The footpaths usually don't get that many people out at this time of year because they are much more difficult to navigate, although yesterday was a beautiful sunny day."
Mr Mansfield described a "number of footpaths which weave in and out of indentures in the mountainside" and this "is where they may have slipped off". He said he regularly goes out on the trails with his own children in the summer. The valley, which boasts five ski resorts, receives a lot of British tourists throughout the year, with many owning holiday homes in the area.