Six die climbing Russian volcano as freezing winds delay rescue

A view from a rescue helicopter shows the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano following an accident involving a tourist group of mountaineers in Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula September 4, 2022, in this still image taken from a video. Kamchatka Search and Rescue Team Press Service/Handout via REUTERS TV

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KAMCHATKA, Russia, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Six people have died climbing the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano in Russia’s far east and six more are believed to be stranded on Sunday after freezing winds halted a rescue attempt.

The group of twelve, which includes two guides, set out on Tuesday to climb the 4,754-meter (15,597-foot) volcano, but ran into trouble on Saturday when some members of the group fell nearly 4,200 meters, authorities said. .

One person is believed to have a broken leg, authorities said.

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Rescuers attempted to join them on Sunday but had to turn back as high winds prevented their helicopter from landing.

“They were due to land at an altitude of 3,300 meters but due to high winds at 30 meters per second (67 miles per hour) they did not, although two attempts were made within hours of interval,” rescuers said. .

Temperatures on the mountain can reach minus 14 degrees Celsius (7 Fahrenheit) overnight.

Tatyana Yukhmanova, a representative of the local civil protection authority, said rescuers will try again to join the group tomorrow weather permitting.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the tallest of more than 160 volcanoes whose snow-capped peaks dominate Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed for its outstanding natural beauty.

Rescuers warn that the mountain, made up of mounds of volcanic rock mixed with snow and ice, is considered particularly dangerous for climbers due to its altitude and the risk of a volcanic eruption.

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Reporting by Caleb Davis and Angelina Kazakova; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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