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Bridge fall victim mourned

Massey University staff and counsellors are meeting today to work out how best to support students traumatised by the accidental death of Catherine Peters.

Ms Peters, 18, fell more than 20 metres to her death from a rope swing after jumping from a bridge near Woodville yesterday.

She was in a group of about 100 on an introductory course organised by the university's Alpine Club but run by an outside contractor.

Police central districts communication manager Kim Perks said almost 80 people had completed the swing when Ms Peters took her turn.

It was not yet known what caused her to fall to the rocks below.

Ms Peters' family were today travelling from Christchurch to Palmerston North.

University spokeswoman Lindsey Birnie said the Alpine Club was well established and respected.

"Our first priority is, of course, to work with the family, to do whatever we can," she told Radio New Zealand.

"Also to work with the students and to support them through this."

Ms Birnie said she understood the group was holding up well and was together.

"We'll assess that today and put in place whatever support we need to - and that might be counselling.'

Police and Occupational Health and Safety are both investigating the accident.

- NZPA

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