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3 dead, 12 injured after falling nearly 200 feet while climbing volcano in Ecuador

The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador shot smoke and ash 6 miles into the air during three eruptions. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Ecuador volcano spews smoke and ash miles into the air 00:20

Three mountaineers died and 12 were injured after they fell while climbing Ecuador's Carihuairazo volcano, rescue services said Saturday.

"A 47-year-old woman and two men aged 45 and 50 died in this emergency," ECU911 rescue services said in a statement. "Due to weather conditions and nightfall, it was not possible to evacuate the bodies."

Six women and six men, aged between 39 and 58, were transferred to hospitals in the towns of Riobamba and Ambato. Some of the injured climbers had contusions and fractures; they were evacuated by air, ECU911 said.

The climbers were attempting to summit the central Andean volcano when they fell 60 meters (196 feet).

Carihuairazo, a 5,018-meter colossus in Tungurahua province, neighbors Chimborazo volcano -- the highest peak in the country at over 6,200 meters.

The three climbers who died were all Ecuadorians, and work to recover their bodies was scheduled to continue Sunday.

In June, a woman died and a climbing companion was injured when they scaled the highly active, off-limits peak of the Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico.

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