Elderly couple die while mushroom picking

Elderly couple die while mushroom picking
Area where couple was found. Photo: Valais cantonal police
An elderly couple died in the canton of Valais after falling 100 metres off a cliff while picking mushrooms in the Vionnaz region, cantonal police say.

Friends of the 79-year-old man and his 78-year-old wife, both residents of Valais, reported their disappearance to police on Wednesday.

The couple were found on Wednesday afternoon near the Torrent de Mayen stream following a search, police said in a news release issued on Wednesday night.

From the initial evidence the pair were walking in the area, looking for mushrooms, when they fell.

Their bodies were found 100 metres below a hiking trail, police said.

The accident occurred less than a year after two other mushroom pickers died from falls in the canton of Ticino.

Mushroom picking is a popular activity in Switzerland, where the season runs from July to October.

Around 200 edible varieties have been catalogued in the country, in addition to at least 150 poisonous varieties.

Most cantons have restrictions that limit the amount of mushrooms that can be collected at one time.

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