British climber falls to death from mountain

22nd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 May 2007 , ALICANTE - A doctor plunged to 80ft (24m) to his death in a fall while mountain climbing in southern Spain.

22 May 2007

ALICANTE - A doctor plunged to 80ft (24m) to his death in a fall while mountain climbing in southern Spain.

Ian Burnell - known as "Burnie" - fell from a cliff face on the outskirts of Altea, near Alicante, on Monday.

The BBC reported Dr Burnell, 26, from Reading, Berkshire, was mountaineering with three friends and had just scaled a vertical wall when he fell.

He was declared dead shortly after he was discovered by rescuers. Spanish police have launched an investigation.

He always displayed a fearless attitude to climbing and a kamikaze attitude to hitching across France with his sister

Tom Winter, friend

Dr Burnell, who studied medicine at Cardiff University, was described by one friend as "universally popular".

Among the tributes sent in to Facebook - a social networking internet site he belonged to - was one from his friend Tom Winter.

"He always displayed a fearless attitude to climbing and a kamikaze attitude to hitching across France with his sister - he spoke no French as far as I could make out.

"He was funny and modest and kind. I'll miss him deeply."

Another entry from Anna Finnemore read: "I can't remember him without a smile."

In 2005, Dr Burnell spent time working in a medical clinic in Rwanda and was planning to spend a year working in a hospital in a remote part of South Africa.

A memorial for Dr Burnell is due to be held at Greyfriars Church in Reading on 30 May at 1300 BST.

Dr Burnell's sister, Lucy, said: "On behalf of my family, can I thank everyone for their kind comments, they are such a blessing for us all to read and my parents are incredibly touched.

"Thanks for all your support, I trust God is comforting you as you grieve the loss of such a wonderful man."

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Subject: Spanish news

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