A 29 year old who worked in a mountain refuge in the city of Bariloche was found dead this Thursday after being missing for several hours, after being trapped in a heavy snowfall that prevented him from reaching his job.
The victim, identified as Manuel Benitezwas found under a mound of snow just 100 meters from the Emilio Frey shelter, in the Cathedral Hilla very popular place for tourists and where he fulfilled different tasks.
The boy disappeared on Tuesday afternoon, when he was on his way to that place. A search operation was immediately mounted, in which personnel from the Aid Commission of the Bariloche Andean Club (CAX), the Department of Fires, Communications and Emergencies, the National Gendarmerie, Civil Protection, the National Fire Management Service and the Argentine Army.
In the first raking, the rescuers found Benítez’s backpack, so the tasks began to focus on that area and later, around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, through the use of probes they found the young man under a layer of snow.
According to what the local media reported, the body was transferred in a helicopter from the National Fire Management Service to the Bariloche Zone Hospitalwhere the doctors of the place determined that he had already died, possibly hypothermic.
In dialogue with radio six, Claudio Fidaniconcessionaire of the Jakob refuge, mountaineer and rescuer, assured that the search for Benítez “was an intense job” that involved several organizations and that death “hurts everyone.”
“He had left on Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon. It had been a long time and the dealership had had no communication. It could be that there was no light or that the turbine had broken. Normally a lot of things can happen in a shelter. They waited for another worker to go upstairs to check that this boy was upstairs. Around 7 in the afternoon yesterday, he arrived upstairs and there he realized that this kid had not reached the shelter, ”he specified.
According to his account of the events, it was at that moment that “the strong alert was activated” to find the whereabouts of this disappeared person and “around 8 in the morning the first patrols were already in the Frey shelter area.”
“There was no detachment, there was nothing. He died of hypothermia. He was unable to continue and fell by the wayside. She was 100 meters from the shelter. From that sector you can already see the shelter. Surely it was already night, he would be with the last of his strength and he couldn’t continue. I really don’t know…” Fidani explained.
In addition, the specialist remarked that “walking in the mountains requires enormous precautions” and He noted that Wednesday’s snowfall “was murderous” and had characteristics similar to another that occurred “26 years ago and killed three people.”
“I define it as a killer snowfall because we come from summer, we are in autumn and the possibility that a snowfall could complicate things has not yet entered our minds. And perhaps not all the necessary precautions are taken. Circumstances on the mountain change from day to day. In a few hours you can find yourself with a temperature below zero. It is very possible that this has happened. Perhaps there was a misreading of what was happening,” he analyzed.
The Rio Negro newspaper He explained that the 29-year-old was a native of a humble neighborhood of Bariloche located in the Alto area and that he had started working relatively recently in the Frey refuge, which is located on the shores of the Toncek lagoon, at about 1,700 meters above sea level.