09/08/2011 03:00 BST | Updated 08/10/2011 06:12 BST

Eton Schoolboy Horatio Chapple's Polar Bear Death Probed

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- An independent investigation is being launched into the polar bear attack that killed an Eton schoolboy.

The organisers of the expedition in Norway that ended in tragedy have vowed to "leave no stone unturned".

Horatio Chapple, 17, was camping in Svalbard with the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) when he was mauled to death by the bear on Friday. Four other members of their group were injured and are being treated in hospital in the UK.

The remaining groups who were also taking part in the expedition have returned home, the BSES said.

Michael "Spike" Reid, 29, the expedition leader who shot the bear in the head, and 27-year-old fellow leader Andy Ruck left Norway yesterday and were taken to Plymouth's Derriford Hospital.

Patrick Flinders, 16, and 17-year-old Scott Bennell-Smith, fellow members of the "Chanzin Fire" group who were sharing a tent with Horatio, arrived back on British soil on Sunday and were transferred to hospitals closer to home.

Patrick, from Jersey, has been hailed a hero after punching the 250kg animal on the nose in an attempt to scare it away.

Relatives of those on the expedition and BSES staff will meet the group members, along with specialists such as doctors and counsellors if needed.

BSES spokesman Edward Watson said: "Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned in investigating the tragic incident on 5 August in Svalbard. The Norwegian authorities' inquiries are under way. In parallel we have begun to fully review procedures, examine equipment and gather witness statements to understand if anything could have been done to prevent this tragic incident happening."

Tributes have been paid to Horatio, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, who was an aspiring medic and was "so excited about his plans to be a doctor". In a statement, his relatives praised his "amazing sense of humour and ability to laugh at himself".