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3 Tourists Freeze to Death on Mountain Pass

Investigators in the Kamchatka region have opened a preliminary check into the death of three tourists who froze to death during a mountain climbing expedition on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a news report said Monday.

The bodies of the three tourists were found by rescue workers on a mountain pass on Monday morning, RIA-Novosti reported. Two of them died after setting out to search for a missing companion, who was later found dead. Another tourist who took part in the search operation returned to the tour base alive but with severe frostbite.

Valery Karpenko, deputy chairman of the Kamchatka regional government, told the news agency that the head of Alpika Tour, the firm that was supervising the trip, allowed the three inexperienced tourist-rescuers to hunt for their companion despite his firm having more experienced mountaineers and specialized equipment at hand.

Emergency officials said that a storm warning had been in force on Kamchatka due to a nearby cyclone and that they had advised tour firms not to attempt mountain ascents over the weekend.

The Kamchatka region government is supervising efforts to get to the bottom of the tragedy.

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