Two Students Found Dead After Hiking Volcano for Closer View of Eruption
(AFP) – Two students have been found dead after hiking near an erupting volcano on the French Indian Ocean island of La Réunion.
The victims, male hikers in their twenties, were studying at a university on the island and had been walking near the Piton de la Fournaise volcano in order to see the eruption up close, French media reported.
Their bodies were discovered on Thursday by the mountain gendarmerie in the main caldera of the volcano—the crater that forms after an eruption.
The alarm was raised a day earlier when they failed to appear, sparking a search of the area, La Réunion police said.
The cause of death is not yet known and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
Police speculated they could have been killed by falling rocks which were thrown from the crater of the volcano during the eruption, or even by lightning which often forms from colliding particles of volcanic ash that create static electricity.
They were said to be students of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Réunion. Support services have been put in place for those at the university who have been affected.