31/01/2018 15:49 GMT | Updated 31/01/2018 16:08 GMT

Tributes For British Skiers Killed In French Alps

'Sorely missed.'

Tributes have been paid to two Britons who fell hundreds of metres to their deaths while skiing in the French Alps.

Oscar Cassagneau-Francis and Rajen Mahendra, both 26 and from Cambridge, were on holiday in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and skiing off-piste when they fell on Sunday morning, local rescue services said.

Mr Cassagneau-Francis’ older brother Oliver Phillipe, 28, was with them and managed to raise the alarm at around 11am.

Mountain rescue services arrived within 10 minutes, but the two men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Tinashe Padiwa, 26, who went to school with Mr Cassagneau-Francis, told The Chronicle: “He loved to ski and worked as a skiing instructor for many years. He was very sporty… he loved to play football and we would meet up and play football together. I only just saw him last week with his brother at the gym… he was a really nice guy.”

The Cambridge News reports that Mr Cassagneau-Francis, who studied at Newcastle University, had gone on the skiing trip after completing his first year of post-graduation medical training in New Zealand. 

Emily Lang, a friend of Mr Cassagneau-Francis’ at Netherhall School, said: “Oscar was an absolutely lovely guy, forever smiling, and laughing and making those around him smile too.

Rajan Mahendra is pictured in the centre 

“I’ll always remember his school jumper arms being covered in sports colours from shoulder to wrist.

“I’ll be thinking of him and everyone who will be missing him today.”

Ahsan Hussain added: “For me to see such a young guy who I went to school with gone has shocked me. I remember all the classes, football at lunch and just every interaction comes back to you....and each and every thought I remember how calm and gentle Oscar was. A good life lost, let this remind us to grasp on to our closest!”

James D. Morgan via Getty Images
The accident occurred in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (file picture)

Mr Mahendra represented Cambridge in the National Touch Series.

Cambridge Touch Association said: “Raj was a great athlete and tremendous sportsperson, but he was also friendly, helpful, kind and always smiling; he will be sorely missed by all his friends at the Cambridge Touch Association and in the wider touch community.

“Our thoughts go to his family at this dreadful time.”