Bodies found in search for Canadians missing in New Zealand avalanche

WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand police searching for a pair of missing Canadian students said on Monday (July 27) that two bodies had been found in avalanche debris near the area where they were hiking.

While the bodies have not yet been formally identified, police said the families of Canadians Vincent Lessard and Etienne Lemieux had been told of the development.

Police said the Canadians, both 23, had not been heard from since July 7, when they took a bus to Te Anau in the South Island, intending to hike the rugged Kepler Track.

The bodies were found in avalanche debris about 350m below the track, police said, adding that they had been taken to Te Anau for identification.

New Zealand media reported that the missing men were industrial design students at Montreal University.