Rescuers race to reach injured Spanish climber

13th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Five Spanish climbers will join efforts to reach Oscar Perez who broke his leg and arm while climbing a mountain in Pakistan.

Madrid – Fellow mountaineers and the Pakistani army were Wednesday attempting to rescue an injured Spanish climber who has been stranded for the past week at 6,000 metres on a mountain in Pakistan.

Five top Spanish climbers departed Tuesday for Pakistan where they will join efforts to reach Oscar Perez who has been stuck on Latok I since he fell on 5 August while scaling the mountain's north face, his climbing club said.

"The Pakistani army is cooperating in the rescue and we trust they will bring this mission to a successful conclusion. We believe in luck and that Oscar will be able to hang on until rescuers reach him," it said in a statement.

Perez broke his leg and arm as he was climbing the north face of Latok I, which rises to 7,145 metres (23,456 feet).

His climbing partner Alvaro Novellon was also injured but managed to make it down the mountain and sound the alarm.

Novellon and US climber Fabrizio Zangrilli began their ascent of Latok I at dawn Wednesday to try to reach Perez. They are carrying medicine and hope to reach the site of the accident in a day and a half.

A helicopter circled over the area where the accident happened on Tuesday but was not able to spot the injured climber.

"I know Oscar heard the noise from the helicopter and I know this will allow him to hold on for longer," Novellon told daily Spanish newspaper El Pais.

A helicopter will not be able to pick up Perez at the spot where he is thought to be lying because the terrain there is too dangerous.

If the rescuers manage to find Perez they will have to carry him down the mountain to a height of 5,000 metres where helicopters will then be able to pick them up.

AFP / Expatica

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