Expedition firm cleared of neglect over teen mauled by polar bear on Arctic trip

Teenager killed by polar bear

An expedition company has been cleared of neglect over the death of an Eton schoolboy who was mauled by a polar bear in Norway.

Horatio Chapple, 17, was on an adventure holiday in Svalbard with the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES) when he was attacked by the "aggressive" animal.

Assistant coroner Ian Singleton cleared the expedition of any wrongdoing in an inquest on Friday.

"I do not find that neglect is appropriate to be considered, as failure (by BSES) was not total or complete," he said.

The BBC reports that after the verdict, Horatio's family said: "We would urge parents to question the organisations who may be taking responsibility for the lives of their children.

"Ask the uncomfortable questions and only trust if you are completely satisfied with the answers. Our solace is the 17 years of love, kindness and courage, which Horatio gave to so many of us."

The teenager, from Wiltshire, was sleeping in his tent when the polar bear attacked him and mauled his head, face and neck.

Trip leader Michael Reid attempted to shoot the bear but at first the safety catch mechanism ejected rounds rather than firing them, Western Morning News reports.

He managed to shoot the animal after reloading the rifle and was also seriously injured by the bear.

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