Five climbers died in a fall over 4,754 m Klyuchevskaya Sopka. Located in Kamchatka, Russia, it is the highest active volcano in Eurasia.
The accident happened during a summit push at around 4,200m. The victims were part of a team of 10 men and 2 women, including two guides.
Many details remain unclear. A source said the accident happened on Tuesday, but one of the guides was only able to call for help this morning. Other sources say the fall happened the day after their overnight summit push began, but didn’t specify when it happened, except it didn’t happen today.
Nine of the 12 climbers joined the push from a high camp at 3,300m. The other three chose to stay at the camp. All are Russian. Rescuers have ordered survivors, who are apparently still on the mountain, to descend as far as possible to avoid hypothermia.
It may not be easy. Besides the five dead, a fifth person remains unconscious and one of the guides has broken his leg and can no longer move.
A search and rescue team has now arrived and a helicopter has dropped them off at the high camp at 3,300m. The helicopter, probably one of the large MI-8s serving the Kamchatka hinterland, cannot climb higher.
“[Rescuers plan] take the stage on Sunday morning,” said Roman Vasilevsky, deputy chairman of the Kamchatka regional government.
We will update as more details become available.