Hikers fall victim to tragic accident in Chilean national park

Chile national park hike accident Image courtesy of @infobiobio - Twitter.

Rescue services have reported that the bodies of three young hikers have been found in the region of Chile’s Laguna del Laja national park, located in the town of Antuco.

23-year-old Rose Simonsen Franke and 25-year-old Hannah Bozzy, both American tourists, were last seen this Saturday, October 13, together with their Chilean guide David Abdala, aged 21.

The group were thought to have been camping in the area and had embarked on an excursion to explore the surrounding waterfalls.

Clothes of the hikers were discovered a few days later on the banks of the Malcura canal, which runs through the national park, and their bodies were later found near the bottom of nearby waterfalls.

According to reports published today, October 17, by Chilean journalism network BioBio, the fire service chief who was part of the team that eventually discovered the hikers’ bodies reported that they had suffered bruising, which would suggest that they had fallen from height into a waterfall zone.

“The woman who was found in the lower pool region is thought to have fallen around 10-12 metres, a waterfall that goes from rock-to-rock,” Jorge Gomez, leader of the Antuco Fire Service told BioBio.

Eventually, the team of firefighters were forced to recruit specialist sub-aquatic rescue groups to help them with their search, as well as Chilean special military police forces dedicated to carrying out high-risk operations.

The bodies have now been sent to a medical centre in the Chilean city of Los Angeles, about 40 miles west of the national park region, to determine causes of death.

When contacted by BioBio, the US embassy insisted they were not authorised to make any statements due to privacy laws, but assured they were “ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance” when required.