A tourist has been killed and four more remain trapped under huge icicles after shards of a 131ft frozen waterfall collapsed at a Russian beauty spot.
Rescuers rushed to the remote Vilyuchinsky waterfall on the country’s Pacific coast on Thursday after a group of seven and their guide were engulfed in ice.
Eyewitnesses pulled a ‘gravely’ wounded child from the scene, also known as Tsar icicle, among three other injured people who were saved – including a man and woman.
But four were reported stranded under the crashed ice in an accident today (Thurs) – Orthodox Christmas Day in Russia.
An emergency Mi-8 helicopter was dispatched to the tourist site with rescuers, medics and investigators.
‘One person died, another was pulled out and taken downhill from the waterfall, and four people were left under the ice,’ reported the press service of the regional Ministry of Emergencies.
The two adults and child pulled from the icefall were flown to hospital.
The waterfall is on the northwestern slope of the Vilyuchinsky volcano, considered one of the most popular tourist attractions on the scenic peninsula.
The temperature was minus 11C when the tragedy occurred.
The 131 ft waterfall is formed from the outflow of thawing glaciers.
In winter it often freezes, resembling a giant icicle and is a magnet for tourists to one of Russia’s most beautiful regions, known as the Land of Fire and Ice, nine time zones east of capital city Moscow.