French tourists killed in Jordan climbing accident

Posted: March 11, 2014 by kirisyko in Climbing, Rock Climbing
Tags: , , ,

The mountains of Wadi Rum on September 13, 2002 in Jordan’s
southern desert (AFP/Leila Gorchev, File)
AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) — An autopsy showed on Sunday that an accidental fall killed three French nationals as they climbed a mountain in southern Jordan, a security official said.

“State coroners conducted an autopsy today on the bodies of the French people. They found out that an accidental fall has caused their death,” the official said.

“Their bodies were delivered today (Sunday) to the French embassy in Amman on orders from attorney general Tareq Shqeirat.”

On Saturday, the climbers, two women aged 35 and 40, and a man, 32, fell off a cliff as they climbed a mountain in the Wadi Rum area, according to an official from the civil defense department.

Jordanian Minister of Tourism Nidal Qatamin and a French Foreign Ministry spokesman have confirmed the climbers fell after their ropes were broken accidentally.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Wadi Rum, around 155 miles south of Amman, is known for its sandstone and granite rock formations and is popular with tourists visiting the kingdom.

In a statement Sunday, the Jordan Tourism Board offered condolences to the families of the victims.

It noted that the rock climbers are reported to have entered the area without permission to climb “treacherously slick sandstone” without an experienced guide. It said they used their own equipment.

The Tourism Board “continues to urge that only experienced climbers attempt to tackle the steep summit of Wadi Rum, only accompanied by professional guides and even then, continue with extreme caution,” the statement said.

“The board will continue to look into the matter with concerned officials in the Wadi Rum area to able to determine the cause of the accident and ensure that it never happens again.”

Ma’an staff in Bethlehem contributed to this report.

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