PUEBLA, Mexico – Three climbers were killed and a fourth was injured in separate accidents Monday while scaling the Pico de Orizaba Volcano, Mexico’s highest mountain, emergency management officials said.
Two of the climbers, all of whom were Mexicans, died on the mountain’s south face and a third fell to his death on the north face, the Puebla state emergency management office said.
The rescue and recovery operation was hampered by bad weather on the upper reaches of Pico de Orizaba, which is being buffeted by strong winds and snow showers.
The first accident occurred when a climber was killed and another injured while scaling the volcano’s north face.
Rescue workers from Ciudad Serdan, including Hilario Aguilar, climbed the mountain in an effort to reach the climbers.
The victims were at an altitude of approximately 5,600 meters (18,360 feet) on Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltepetl, and fell about 400 meters (1,311 feet).
One of the climbers, identified as 25-year-old Jesus Miranda, was taken to a hospital in Orizaba, a city in Veracruz state, and is being treated for multiple fractures.
An unidentified 63-year-old climber was killed and rescue workers have not been able to recover his body due to bad weather.
Rescue teams had to stop working because of the strong winds and snow showers on the mountain.
Two climbers, part of a group of 15 mountaineers, were killed in the second accident.
Officials said later that four members of the group had become lost on the volcano.
Emergency management officials in Tlachichuca, a city in Puebla state, and the Mexican Alpine Group organized the rescue and recovery operation.