Three Belgian climbers make fatal plunge in Peruvian Andes

4th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The accident took place on Sunday while the group was trying to scale Tocllaraju mountain, whose peak is 6,032 metres (19,790 feet) high, Ingrid Villanueva of the Huaraz police station told AFP.

Ann Houttekviet, 22, Koen de Bacher, 26, and Hans Marien, 20, were already dead when rescuers arrived at the scene, and their bodies were brought to Huaraz, 180 kilometres (112 miles) northeast of Lima.

It was the third accident in just 10 days in the treacherous Peruvian mountains.

Argentine Daniel Monton died after falling into a 200 metre deep ravine on 26 July. He had reached the Esfinge summit, at 5,325 metres, before his fatal fall.

Another climber, 68 year old Takao Mitsui of Japan, went missing that week while scaling Huascaran, which peaks at 6,768 metres, alongside his Peruvian guide Claudio Lliuya.

Authorities called off the search for their bodies on Monday, saying there was no hope of finding them alive.

The snow-covered mountains are part of the Cordillera Blanca chain in the Ancash region which is popular with climbers worldwide.


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