Israeli hiker dies on volcano trek in Chile

Israeli hiker dies on volcano trek in Chile

33-year-old reportedly trapped by a snowstorm during attempt to climb Llaima Volcano in the Conguillio National Park

A view of the Llaima volcano after it erupted in Chile's Conguillio National Park, Jan. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Juan Tejos)
A view of the Llaima volcano after it erupted in Chile's Conguillio National Park, Jan. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Juan Tejos)

An Israeli tourist died overnight after a fall in a volcanic nature reserve in central Chile, the Foreign Ministry announced Friday.

Doctors fought to save the life of the 33-year-old man, but were forced to declare his death. His family has been informed.

According to the Walla news site, the man was attempting to climb the active Llaima Volcano in the Conguillio National Park when he was trapped in a snowstorm.

He radioed for help but a helicopter could not be dispatched due to the adverse weather conditions. A team set out on foot but was also beaten back by the snow.

The ministry said it is working with Chilean authorities to return the man’s body to Israel.

In February, three Israelis were killed when a raft carrying over a dozen Israeli tourists overturned on a river in the Torres del Paine national park in southern Chile.

A boat that overturned in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, on February 23, 2019 (Chilean Navy via Channel 13 screen capture)

Last month, Chilean first responders rescued an Israeli tourist from the summit of an active volcano, after the hiker fell and injured himself on the trail.

According to local reports, the 24-year-old was airlifted from the peak of Mount Villarrica in the south of the country after falling down a slope of the 2,847 meter (9,300 feet) volcano. It was not erupting at the time.

The Israeli man was airlifted via helicopter to the town of Pucon, where he was being treated for broken tibias and other injuries.

Reports in Chilean media said it was not clear what had caused the man to fall while hiking one of the country’s most popular trails. The head of the search and rescue team, Maj. Luis Orellana, told the Cooperativa news site authorities were looking into the incident.

The Villarrica volcano emits a plume of smoke and gases near Pucon, Chile, Sunday, Apr. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/ Claudio Santana)

Mount Villarrica, some 750 km (470 miles) south of capital Santiago, is one of South America’s most active volcanoes. The trail to the snow-capped peak of the mountain is known to be a challenging hike, but draws hundreds of tourists each day.

The volcano has been on “early preventative alert” since May 2016. The last major eruption at Villarrica was in March 2015, though a minor eruption in 2017 sent terrified hikers scrambling down the slopes.

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