England

Vietnam waterfall deaths: Recklessness claims 'a huge torment'

Izzy Squire (L) and Beth Anderson Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Izzy Squire (L) and Beth Anderson died in 2016

Reports that three Britons who died at a waterfall in Vietnam were being reckless caused "huge torment" for their families, a coroner has said.

Izzy Squire, 19, and Beth Anderson, 24, died with friend Christian Sloan, 24, during a day trip to the Dalanla waterfalls in February 2016.

Sheffield Coroners' Court heard the trio went down a "natural water slide" before ending up in a pool.

But instead of exiting, they disappeared over another waterfall.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The women died alongside Christian Sloan, from Kent

Senior Coroner Chris Dorries heard sisters Ms Squire and Ms Anderson, both from Sheffield, and Mr Sloan, from Kent, had booked an "easy" trekking trip which included a water-sliding activity in a popular tourist spot.

They wore life jackets and helmets as they went head first down the slide into a 6ft (1.8m) pool before disappearing over the next part of the river complex and over a 50ft (15m) waterfall.

Their guide, Dang Van Si, claimed to have shouted a warning to them, but this was contradicted by a range of witnesses and video footage, the inquest was told.

Det Con Andrew Stephanek said the evidence South Yorkshire Police received from Vietnamese authorities left many unanswered questions about the safety of the area and Mr Si's role.

The detective also said he had examined a large quantity of online comments from the time of the tragedy alleging dangerous behaviour.

"I don't remember seeing any one of them that was actually accurate," he said.

The coroner said: "That was, no doubt, a huge torment for the families."

He added he would say more about reports they had been acting recklessly when he gives his conclusions on 19 March.

Relatives previously said they were confident the inquest would establish the trio were doing nothing dangerous and were taking part in what they thought was a tame activity.

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