A rock climbing guide and a client have died on South Africa’s popular Table Mountain.
The client was from Hong Kong and another client was rescued and is in hospital recovering. It was reported that both clients were women in their late 20s.
The accident occured beneath a busy cable car that runs from Cape Town to the top of the peak.
— Hanti Otto (@HantiO) January 1, 2018
The Chinese consulate in Cape Town has pledged to provide help, while the Immigration Department in Hong Kong has contacted the tourists’ family members.
Rescuers then used the cable car to reach the surviving climber. But the bodies were not recovered until first light on Tuesday.
According to Table Mountain Cableway, the service – which takes thousands of people up and down the mountain every day – was out of action for about four hours, closing an hour after the group was first spotted.
John Marais, of Wilderness Search and Rescue, told South African news site TimesLive the two climbers were seen “dangling” on ropes about 150 metres below the cable car station just after 5 p.m. local time.
Marais said an initial attempt to use a helicopter to rescue the climbers was unsuccessful, leading the team to decide that the best way to reach the three would be to abseil from the cable car.
But they were only able to rescue the surviving woman on Monday evening, with the cable car resuming its service when there were still about 500 people at the top of the mountain.
— Mountain Safety (@SafetyMountain) January 1, 2018