Flash flood kills 5 in French Canyon

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A flash flood in a canyon has killed a father, his seven-year-old daughter and three other people on the French island of Corsica.

Rescuers found the body of the fifth victim in the French hiking group, a 22-year old woman on Thursday at the remote site near Soccia.

According to a Corsican prosecutor, “Seven tourists were canyoning with a guide when a wave about 3m (12ft) high hit them. The guide was among those killed. Two were rescued from the torrent.”

French media report that the seven were abseiling (rappelling) into the Zoicu canyon, a famous beauty spot, parts of which are only accessible with ropes.

The canyon is at an altitude of 1,000m (3,280ft) in a mountainous area of central Corsica popular for hiking, kayaking and canyoning, a sport which can involve rope work, technical climbing and swimming.

There was a storm alert in place at the time of the flood on Wednesday, and five other hikers, including the seven-year-old’s mother, had turned back earlier.

Reports say a guide from another hiking group threw a rope into the torrent to rescue two from the group in trouble.

It is France’s worst canyoning tragedy since March 2010, when four people died in an accident on the Indian Ocean isle of Reunion.

Olajumoke Adeleke