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A group of mountaineers climbing the Carihuairazo volcano in Ecuador fell nearly 200 feet on Saturday morning, resulting in the deaths of three and 12 others being injured, rescue officials said.
Rescuers were alerted just after 9:30 a.m. that 15 climbers were involved in the fall, ECU911 rescue services said in a statement.
“A 47-year-old woman and two 45- and 50-year-old men died in this emergency,” officials said. “Due to weather conditions and nightfall, the bodies of the three deceased persons could not be evacuated.”
Six women and six men, aged between 39 and 58, were rescued from the mountain and hospitalized with varying injuries.
Rescuers said some of those injured suffered headache symptoms while others had polycontusions and fractures.
Crews worked to recover the bodies of the deceased on Sunday.
The Carihuairazo volcano is located near the city of Ambato in Ecuador’s central Andean valley. The stratovolcano has an elevation of 16,739 feet and neighbors the larger Chimborazo volcano, which has an elevation of over 20,300 feet.