Israeli tourist dies after falling during trek in Chile

His family was informed of the tragedy.

May 17, 2019 13:05
2 minute read.
Smoke and ash from Chile volcano

Chile volcano 521. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)


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A 33-year-old Israeli tourist died in Chile on Friday after sustaining fatal injuries during a trek in a nature reserve near a volcano.

The young man fell during the trek. Even though local doctors struggled for his life, he did not survive the accident, the Foreign Ministry said.

His family was informed of the tragedy.

Yohai Lilior, commander of Harel Insurance's rescue team, said that the Israeli was left stranded after being injured in the high and snowy mountainous terrain of the Conguillío National Park. He began climbing toward the Llaima volcano at an altitude of 3,200 meters at temperatures below zero degrees Celcius.

"Due to the snowstorms in the area, the Israeli man got stuck after he was injured during the trek and he transmitted distress signals via his satellite phone. Immediately after receiving the distress signals, Harel's rescue team tried to contact the traveler, but without success. There was no response on his part, and because of tough field and weather conditions, Harel decided to immediately send a special rescue team, backed up by a helicopter."

"The rescue team made its way through harsh weather conditions, snowstorms and blocked roads," he added. "After a long walk, the crew encountered a snow wall, at an air distance of one and a half kilometers from where the distress calls were sent, from where it could not continue and couldn't reach the tourist. Despite this, the crew continued to search in the difficult mountainous area, under snowy and extreme weather conditions, which made the movement even more difficult. At the same time, a special helicopter was dispatched to attempt to locate the man, due to the fear that if he could not be found he could be buried under piles of the heavy snowfall in the region. After hours of walking under harsh conditions, he was found in a very difficult situation and evacuated by the rescue team."

The Israeli Consul in Chile, who assisted in rescue efforts, and the Department for Israelis Abroad in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working to bring the man's body back to Israel.

Two weeks ago, Haim Ben Baruch, 31, disappeared during a cruise near the San Blas Islands on his way to Colombia from Panama. His body was found after a search that lasted more than 24 hours.

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