SAITAMA (Kyodo) Two NTV journalists were found dead Sunday on a mountain in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, they had climbed the previous day to cover last week’s fatal crash of a rescue helicopter, police said.

The two men were identified as Yuji Kita, a 30-year-old reporter who lives in the city of Saitama, and Jun Kawakami, 43, a photographer from Tokyo.

A police mountain rescue unit found the two men in a state of cardiac arrest at around 9 a.m. Sunday, but they were later declared dead.

They began climbing the mountain from a forest road in Chichibu at around 10 a.m. Saturday, but after they failed to return by 6 p.m., NTV contacted the police.

A 33-year-old mountain guide who was accompanying the journalists said he tried to stop the pair from climbing at one point because they were underdressed but that they continued anyway.

A Nippon TV official said in a news conference that the broadcaster believes the two men were suitably equipped for the climb. He said the broadcaster allowed them to climb on condition they hire a mountain guide, adding he could not understand why they decided to go it alone.

Saitama police had warned the media not to approach the crash site for safety reasons.

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