Five climbers have died in an accident in the Swiss Alps near the Italian border, according to news service reports.
The mountaineers successfully reached the 13,155-foot high Lagginhorn summit on Tuesday but plunged several hundred yards to their deaths after beginning their descent, police in the southern Valais region of Switzerland told The Associated Press.
A sixth member of the group, who had stopped before reaching the summit, alerted rescue authorities about the fall, but the five climbers had already died.
"They all died at the scene of the accident," AFP reported, citing a statement from police in Valais.
Details and the cause of the accident were not immediately available. The victims were not identified, but Swiss police said they were all foreign nationals.
The Associated Press reported that prosecutors had opened an investigation.
More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Protesters defy stun grenades to halt work on $1.6 billion factory in China
- Sneak peek inside Olympic Village: 'Not a five-star resort'
- Former Gitmo prisoner: How I see America
- Afghans are 'no different from any American'
- On the road with Syria's rebel motorcycle army
- Libya frees four ICC officials accused of spying