Indian brothers killed by glacier ignored safety warnings

Ashish Miranda, 24, an aircraft engineer, and Akshay Miranda, 22, a student, who were both living in Melbourne at the time, died instantly when an ice wall on the Fox Glacier collapsed as one photographed the other leaning against it Jan 8.

Coroner Richard McElrea reserved his findings after a two-day hearing into the deaths of the brothers, who reportedly crossed safety ropes designed to bar access to the ice face of the glacier, one of the biggest tourist attractions in New Zealand's Southern Alps. David Nelson, glacier project manager for the Department of Conservation, told the inquest that "thousands and thousands of tons of ice" fell regularly over the summer, sometimes daily.

He said the department made daily hazard assessments and posted warning signs, but tourists often totally disregarded them, as the Miranda brothers had. Nelson recalled a conversation with their father and an uncle the day after the accident, which suggested the brothers had decided early in the day to touch the ice. "My understanding is that they were on a mission," Nelson said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry