GUATEMALA CITY – The discovery of three bodies on the slopes of Guatemala’s Acatenango Volcano on Monday raised to six the number of hikers who died there, possibly of hypothermia caused by the cold front that has seized the country.
The head of the Conred emergency management office, Sergio Cabañas, confirmed that the three lifeless bodies were found Monday on the volcano, located between the western provinces of Chimaltenango and Sacatepequez.
The victims were identified as Bany Magdiel Marroquin, 35, Linsy Ibania Marroquin, 19, and Axel Carranza, 46.
The other fatalities, found this Sunday, were Josselin Yajaira Roldan Velasquez and Lucia Yire Sanchez, ages 21 and 19, respectively, both athletes of the National Track and Field Federation, and Francisco Javier Velasquez Gonzalez, 23.
Rescued alive were the athlete Rocio Alejandra Roman, 22, Daniel Eduardo Velasquez Gonzales, 18, and Aracely Esquivel, 55, currently recovering at Antigua Guatemala National Hospital.
The hikers climbed the volcano last Saturday, just before the area was slammed by high winds and a rapid drop in temperature.
The National Track and Field Federation regretted the loss of the two athletes and said that “with great sorrow we offer our most sincere condolences to their families and friend, and to others who have suffered in these unfortunate circumstances.”
On Sunday the emergency management officials reported that two groups of hikers had gone missing – one of five people and the other of four – who had been scaling the volcano.
Cabañas said that for now the search continues, and that the return of the rescue brigades from to heights is awaited in order to make a final evaluation.
The Acatenango Volcano, some 13,036 feet (3,976 meters) high, is located next to the Volcan de Fuego, and is the third highest in Guatemala.
The cold front affecting the entire Central American region has left left three dead in the Caribbean – one man in Honduras and two minors in Panama.