One of the most visited tourist destinations in Argentina became the scene of a tragedy in recent hours, when a Brazilian tourist was crushed to death by a piece of ice that broke off from the ceiling of a cave in Ushuahia, in the province of Tierra del Fuego. As confirmed by judicial sources, access to that place was prohibited.
The man, in a group with other tourists, tried to enter the site known as “Jimbo Cave” either “ice cave”, a formation of great natural beauty located in an area of glaciers, several kilometers from the center of the Fuegian capital and within the Tierra del Fuego National Park. The place can only be reached after an extensive walk.
In the images recorded by a member of the Brazilian contingent, you can see how the group dangerously approached the interior of the redoubt covered by a layer of rocks and ice. In line, little by little they advance on the unsafe terrain, one of them can even be heard asking to ‘be very careful’. However, the warning was not enough, since in a few seconds death fell from the air. This was also reported by the spokespersons consulted, who emphasize that when one of the tourists began to enter the formation, a piece of ice broke off and hit him in the head.
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Immediately, the tourist who was recording drops the camera and runs to help him, in the video you can hear the desperate screams of the other visitors, while you can also see a sign that warns about the prohibition of passage.
Hours after the accident, members of the Relief Commission arrived at the scene and confirmed the death of the visitor, whose body could only be rescued and transferred to the city during the early morning or morning of the following day, according to sources consulted by Telam.
The tragic event led to the initiation of the legal case in the Court of Instruction 1 of Ushuaia, in charge of Judge Javier De Gamas Soler, who has already ordered the autopsy of the deceased as soon as the body is recovered. At the same time, the magistrate also ordered the taking of testimonial statements.
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Since 2021, the National Park authorities have warned about the danger of approaching the ‘Cave of Jimbo’. The measure is mainly due to scientific studies by the Austral Center for Scientific Research (Cadic, dependent on Conicet), which confirmed that the place is in “danger of collapse” and that it is common for pieces of ice and stones to fall from the ceiling. .
According to local media, the administration of the Tierra del Fuego National Park had already spoken out when highlighting this situation: “Recent studies of this glacier, carried out by professionals from CADIC-CONICET, show that the site presents a very active dynamic, with intense melting of ice that produces the constant fall of fragments of ice and rock. They also affirm that the thinning of the roof generates cracks on the glacier which will cause its collapse. So we hope to have your cooperation so as not to have to regret accidents”.
In turn, the administration clarifies that any deviation through alternative paths to points of interest such as ice caves (under glaciers) do not have the minimum security conditions, so access is prohibited.
Since 2020, when the interest in knowing the ice caves became popular, the Ushuaia Relief Commission expressed its concern about the number of people who visit them. “We inform the population in general, but particularly all those hikers who travel along the Cañadón de la Oveja path, that access to the ice caves it’s found forbidden due to the potential collapse”, the experienced rescuers also warned.