One person was killed and three others injured in Russia’s far east Thursday when a huge chunk of frozen waterfall collapsed on a group of tourists.
The group was visiting the Vilyuchinsky waterfall, at 131 feet, in the Kamchatka peninsula when a huge part of the waterfall came down on the group, trapping four of them under the frost, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.
A search operation involving a helicopter and at least 40 rescue personnel was launched, the ministry said.
Rescue officials managed to pull out all four of them, and a boy and his father were flown to the hospital, where they were listed in critical condition, according to BBC.
“The father is in the hospital with the child,” Marina Volkova, the Kamchatka Territory’s deputy minister of health, told BBC. “The day before, they flew in from Vladivostok.”
None of the victims were identified. The group was hailing from the city of Khabarovsk in southeastern Russia, according to Siberian Times.
Scores of tourists come to visit Vilyuchinsky waterfall, alternatively known as Tsar Icicle every year to witness the beauty of the scenic peninsula. The Tsar Icicle, which is made of water coursing from thawing glaciers, is so named because it resembles a giant icicle when it freezes during winters.
The temperature was reportedly 11C when the glacier collapsed. Other tourist groups that were present near the waterfall at the time of the tragedy fled the scene. No one else was reportedly injured after the incident.
The collapse of the ice is under investigation, with local media reports suggesting an avalanche from a nearby volcano might have shaken the chunk loose.
Massive Portion Of Frozen Russian Waterfall Collapses On Tourists, Killing One And Injuring Three The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ International Business Times.