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The death of a molecular biologist has fuelled speculation about a "curse" connected to an ancient corpse. Tom Loy, 63, had analysed DNA found on "Oetzi", the Stone Age hunter whose remains were discovered in 1991.


Dr Loy died in unclear circumstances in Australia making him the seventh person connected with Oetzi to die. Colleagues and family of Dr Loy have rejected the notion that he was the victim of a "curse".


It is not known how many people have worked on the Oetzi project - and whether the death rate is statistically high. The amateur climber who found Oetzi in 1991, Helmut Simon, was killed during an unexpected blizzard in the Alps in 2004, not far from the original find; His body was missing for eight days before it was located.


Within hours of Mr Simon's funeral, the head of the mountain rescue team sent to find him died of a heart attack, aged 45 and apparently in good health.


Four other people associated with Oetzi have died, prompting rumours of a "mummy's curse":


  • Rainer Henn, 64, a forensic pathologist who handled the body. He was killed in a car crash the following year
  • Kurt Fritz, the mountaineer who led Dr Henn to the body. He was killed in an avalanche shortly after Dr Henn died
  • Rainer Holz, 47, a filmmaker who made a documentary about removing the body from its block of ice. He died of a brain tumour soon afterwards
  • Konrad Spindler, 66, an archaeologist who was a leading expert on the body. He died of complications related to multiple sclerosis. 
 Source: bbc.co.uk

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