Nine hikers killed in Colombia mudslide | india | Hindustan Times
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Nine hikers killed in Colombia mudslide

Nine hikers were killed and two others were missing after their scouting expedition was swept away by a mudslide triggered by a flash flood.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 12:10 IST

Nine young hikers were killed and two others were missing after their scouting expedition was swept away by a mudslide triggered by a flash flood in central Colombia, authorities said.

The Colombian youths, ranging in age from 12 to 19, were on an expedition on Saturday with two guides near the snowcapped Nevado del Ruiz volcano close to their home city of Manizales, 165 kmswest of the capital of Bogota, German Salgado, regional president of the Scouting Association of Colombia, said on Sunday.

The group was in a boulder-filled canyon known as La Gruta when heavy rains caused the Chinchina river to swell several meters (feet), carrying a crushing load of earth and rock that swept away the scouts as they wereb athing and practicing tying knots.

Two young boys and an adult guide who were rescued Saturday said they had seen the others carried away by the mudslide, Perez said.

The scouts' families gathered to pray last night at the Red Cross office in Manizales. Medical examiners had not yet been able to identify any of the bodies, all but one of which were severely disfigured, officials said.