5 die in canyoning accident in Corsica, including 7-year-old

August 2, 2018 GMT

PARIS (AP) — Five people from France, including a seven-year-old girl, have died in a canyoning accident on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica after a violent storm created a huge wave that washed over them, officials said Thursday.

Prosecutor Eric Bouillard said the guide, who also perished, had been advised not to go on by two other guides who turned back as a violent storm approached. A preliminary investigation into the accident has been opened.

The body of the fifth victim, a young woman, was found a day after Wednesday’s accident, which was one of the worst canyoning accidents in France in recent years.


The group was moving through the Zoicu canyon near Soccia, which is known for its emerald waters, when the storm blew in. The canyon is popular with tourists and at least five different groups were beginning a descent about the same time.

The group hit by the tragedy originally consisted of 13 people including the guide, but some survivors turned back out of concerns about the weather, including the mother of the child, who remained with her father, the prosecutor said.

“The weather was bad when the group started,” the prosecutor told a news conference, televised by BFM-TV. “There was a risk of storms, but it’s up to the professionals to measure the danger .... The guide was advised.”

Bit by bit, people abandoned the group, especially before the second, more difficult, part of the trip, he said. Seven remained when the sky opened up and a torrent raged. Two from that group were saved.