Bodies of 3 Spaniards killed in Peru avalanche retrieved

Photo: EFE

Photo: EFE

11:48 | Huaraz (Ancash), Jan. 8.

The bodies of the three Spanish mountaineers and their Peruvian guide killed by an avalanche in the Peruvian Andes were retrieved and transferred to the northern city of Huaraz, the capital city of Ancash, official sources reported.

The bodies were transported to the morgue of the Public Prosecutor's Office in said city —located more than 400 kilometers north of Lima— by agents from the High Mountain Rescue Unit of the National Police (PNP) and members of the Peruvian Mountain Guides Association.

The Spaniards were identified as Adrian San Juan Pello, Sergi Porteros Perello, and Gerard Borrul Regal, while the Peruvian as Ruben Dario Alva. 

Spanish mountaineer Paolo Belmonte Calderon, 26, survived the accident and is in good health after receiving care in a Huaraz clinic Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Rescue Unit told Efe that the group had conquered the 5000-meter high Nevado Mateo when the avalanche hit as they prepared to descend.

The Association of Peruvian Mountain Guides added in a statement that the avalanche —presumed to have occurred Sunday noon— dragged the bodies for approximately 200 meters. 

A team from the Rescue Unit and the Mountain Guides Association located the bodies during Sunday night. The Peruvian guide was found alive but died minutes later due to his injuries.

Alva had 12 years of mountaineering experience, said Rafael Figueroa, president of the Mountain Guides Association.

"The problem is that glaciers have been greatly altered due to climatic changes. Climbing was safer in the past, now changes take mountain guides by surprise," Figueroa told Peruvian media.

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Published: 1/8/2019