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Teenager dead in polar bear attack; Four others injured.


A 17-YEAR-OLD boy who was killed by a polar bear on a Norweigian island was identified by the British Schools Exploring Society as Horatio Chapple.

Four other people were injured in the attack, which happened as a party travelling on a British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) expedition were camped on the Von Postbreen glacier near Longyearbyen on Svalbard, between the Norwegian mainland and North Pole.

BSES chairman Edward Watson said: "Horatio was a fine young man who wanted to go on to read medicine after school.

"We and the Norwegian authorities are currently establishing the full circumstances of his tragic death and will not be releasing this until we have discussed this fully with the family."

Horatio's family from near Salisbury, Wiltshire, said they were too upset to speak.

The party managed to get through to Svalbard Governor's office to call for assistance after the attack early yesterday.

Eventually, the injured were taken by helicopter to hospital in Longyearbyen and then on to University Hospital in Tromso in mainland Norway.

The teenager was thought to be a pupil at Eton public school.

Mr Watson said that two of the four people hurt had "severe" injuries but that the rest of the expedition party was unharmed.

BSES Expeditions, which is based in Kensington, west London, said those injured were trip leaders Michael Reid and Andrew Ruck, as well as two young men - Patrick Flinders, from Jersey, who is believed to be 16, and Scott Smith.

A BSES spokeswoman added: "There were about 80 people all told in the expedition.

The young people are all between 16 and 23."

Liv Asta Odegaard, spokeswoman for the governor of Svalbard, said: "We got a call via satellite phone from a British group of campers that there had been a polar bear attack and that one person was dead and that others were injured and they needed assistance.

"There are no roads in the area so we scrambled a helicopter."

The polar bear has been killed.

Horatio and the injured were part of a group of 13 in the campsite attacked by the bear.


[bar] TRAGEDY: The dead male polar bear, above, which attacked youths at their campsite, below
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:Aug 6, 2011
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