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Tragedy as four family members killed whilst canyoning 

Four members of the same family, including two young children, were killed in a freak accident whilst canyoning in Spain.

The victims were the youngsters aged eight and eleven and their parents. The family’s third child, aged six, escaped with minor injuries.

It is believed the tragedy happened when they were caught in a flash flood in a gorge in the Jerte Valley in the region of Extremadura.

Medics, rescuers, firefi-ghters and the mountain rescue team all rushed to the scene, together with an emergency helicopter.

The family came from Don Benito in Badajoz. Both parents were aged 43.

Canyoning is an adventure sport which involves the participants making their way across ravines, streams and mountain rivers, either on foot or swimming.

Government delegate for Extremadura, Cristina Herrera said the family had been equipped with all the right equipment and clothing and were in an area assigned for beginners.

Heavy rain had not been expected so they were caught completely by surprise by a torrent of water.

During the freak storms, between 34 and 52 litres of rain per square metre was recorded in municipalities near Jerte. Several provinces of the zone are on yellow alert.

The Mayor of San Benito, José Luis Quintana held a press conference to explain what had happened and to express the town’s total shock at the tragedy.

“I am destroyed,” he said.