12 Climbers Went Up the Volcano. Then 5 Fell

Only a few survivors were evacuated from Russia's Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia's tallest volcano
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2022 12:37 PM CDT
12 Climbers Went Up the Volcano. Then 5 Fell
The Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano.   (Getty Images/geyzer)

A dozen climbers went up a Siberian volcano last week, but only a few have come back down. According to the Russian state agency Ria Novosti, the group of 12 began ascending Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia's tallest volcano, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's far northeast, on Aug. 30, per CNN. But on Saturday, Russian media reported five of the climbers fell to their deaths about 1,600 feet below the summit of the 15,584-foot tall mountain, with the four survivors waiting for rescuers at different altitudes, per the AP.

Those rescuers tried multiple times to set a helicopter down on Sunday, one day after the deaths of the five climbers, to reach the survivors, but strong winds and thick clouds kept the chopper from landing. At least three more climbers were said to have died by Monday—but the figure might be four because the Guardian puts the death total at nine—on a slope where temperatures can dip into the single digits overnight, per rescuers. All of the climbers were reported to be Russians.

On Tuesday morning, Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that rescuers finally reached the survivors and took them by helicopter to the nearby village of Klyuchi. One of the climbers is said to have frostbite, per Ria Novosti. The survivors are set to next be transported to Petropavlovsk on a medical plane, while rescuers remain on the volcano to figure out how to contend with the bodies of those who perished, according to Russian newspaper Izvestiya. Meanwhile, Ria Novosti reports that a criminal probe has been launched, per CNN. (Read more volcano stories.)

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