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2 Table Mountain Climbers Die in Fall, 1 Other Rescued

2 Table Mountain Climbers Die in Fall, 1 Other Rescued
Two climbers died this week on Table Mountain in South Africa. (Luca Roggero/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 January 2018 02:47 PM

Two Table Mountain climbers died in a fall from the rugged mountain that overlooks South Africa's Cape Town, but emergency responders were able to rescue a female Japanese climber.

Rescuers used ropes from a cable car along the popular tourist destination to retrieve the two bodies early Tuesday. The injured woman was rescued late Monday.

A local climbing guide was killed along with a male Japanese climber. The climbers were holding onto ropes below a cable car station when the fall occurred. It’s possible one of the climbers lost footing and dragged the others down, said Johan Marais, a spokesman for the voluntary Wilderness Search and Rescue group, CBS News reported.

The climbers were observed attached to the ropes and two of them were supported by a ledge along a cliff. At least one tourist in a nearby cable car reported seeing someone, presumably the woman, administering CPR to another climber.

The rescue operation was more complex than the occasional rescues that happen from hiking and climbing accidents on the mountain. During the rescue, hundreds of tourists were left stranded for hours before the cable cars could move them down after midnight, CBS reported.

A rescue helicopter approached the area, but rescuers with Wilderness Search and Rescue determined it would be easier for them to lower themselves from ropes attached to a floor opening of a cable car near the accident.

The injured survivor was brought up to a harness and into the cable car, Marais said. She was taken to a Cape Town hospital. Rescuers, who determined the other climbers were dead, waited until tourists were taken off the mountain before they recovered the bodies.

Cable car operators thanked the stranded tourists for their patience while the rescue was taking place.

“By enabling us to use the cable car to assist Metro Rescue, you contributed to the rescue operation which saw the injured climber transported down the mountain in the cable car,” read a statement issued by the operators Tuesday. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the two climbers who lost their lives.”

About 30 volunteers were involved in the rescue effort. According to the South African Mountain Accident Database, 133 people have died on Table Mountain since 1980, BBC News reported.

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Two climbers died this week in a fall from Table Mountain, which overlooks South Africa's Cape Town. Emergency responders were able to rescue a female Japanese climber.
table mountain, climbers, die, fall
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 02:47 PM
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