One Canadian woman died and a fellow citizen was injured when an avalanche roared down the side of snow-capped Chimborazo volcano, Ecuador’s highest peak, rescue service officials said Thursday.
Security Service ECU911 in Riobamba city said in a statement that a man who identified himself as a 24-year-old Canadian phoned to report the accident in which his 25-year-old female hiking companion died.
He said they were climbing Chimborazo, a potentially active volcano with year-round glaciers.
The 6,293-meter (20,646-foot) peak, in the Andes about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital Quito, is the highest in Ecuador and one of the world’s tallest volcanoes.
The avalanche occurred above 5,000 meters, and ECU911 said rescuers managed to recover the survivor who was “in stable health condition.”
The National Risk and Emergency Services agency said on Twitter that the avalanche hit “for unknown reasons” early Thursday as mountaineers were climbing Chimborazo.
It said rescue teams were seeking to recover the dead woman’s body.
Despite its dangers, Chimborazo remains a popular draw for domestic and international mountaineers.
Last October an avalanche buried 16 Ecuadorans who were climbing to the volcano’s summit. Five died and one remains missing.