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15 Climbers Fall Ascending a Volcano, Three Die

Several rescue flights were able to get the injured climbers to nearby hospitals

Carihuairazo Ecuador climbing

On Saturday morning, 15 climbers fell 60 metres while climbing Carihuairazo, a volcano in the western Andes of Ecuador. The cause of the accident is unknown.

Several groups responded to the call for a rescue, including mountain guides and the local fire departments. The injured included six men and six women who were flown to hospitals in the towns of Ambato and Riobamba.

“A 47-year-old woman and two men aged 45 and 50 died in this emergency,” ECU911 rescue services said in a statement. The three Ecuadorian climbers who died are Veronica Torres, 47, Francisco Castro, 45, and Miguel Campoverde, 50.

The normal routes start at 4,600 metres and ascend either the southwest ridge or the west glacier. The 5,018-metre peak is a popular summit year-round and is often used to acclimatize for the surrounding mountains.