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British Financial Times Journalist, 24, Thought to Have Been Killed by Crocodile in Sri Lanka

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A British journalist working for the Financial Times is thought to have been killed by a crocodile while on holiday in Sri Lanka.

Former Oxford University student Paul McClean, aged 24, was found dead in mud at a lagoon nicknamed ‘Crocodile Rock,’ near the coastal village of Panama in the southeast of the country. Witnesses told the Times that McClean had been seen waving in desperation as he was dragged underwater by the beast. A postmortem examination will be carried out later today.

Alex Barker, the Financial Times‘ Brussels Bureau Chief, described McClean as “a first-class journalist in the making.” “We were so very lucky to have him as a friend and colleague in Brussels. We’ll miss him dearly,” his tribute continued.

The Financial Times‘ editor, Lionel Barber, said on Twitter that McClean was a “rising star” and the team would “miss him dearly.” A minute’s silence was held in the news room today.

McClean joined the paper as a graduate reporter two years ago and was working at the London-based fastFT team at the time of his death.

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com