Harrowing photo moments before deadly ice collapse

Yahoo News Australia and agencies
·2-min read

A photo taken of a group moments before a deadly ice collapse has emerged as a teenage tourist speaks out about how she cheated death.

The 40-metre giant icicle formed by a frozen waterfall crashed on top of a group of sightseers at Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula on January 7, killing one and injuring three, including a child in a “grave” condition.

A major search with tracker dogs was abandoned after rescuers failed to find evidence of four other tourists that were reportedly trapped under the fallen ice blocks.

A group of sightseers take a photo before the waterfall collapsed. Source: East2West/Australscope

Eyewitnesses claimed that the fall had been triggered by “wealthy” tourists in a helicopter flying to within a few feet of the frozen Vilyuchinsky waterfall, causing “vibrations” which led to the calamity.

The flight was believed to be ten minutes before the ice crash, with a video reportedly showing the moment the helicopter buzzed near the frozen waterfall.

However there was no immediate confirmation from law enforcement the helicopter caused the ice to fall.

Teen reveals dramatic moment of ice crash

In a dramatic account, tourist Polina Syhyra, 18, told Life Shot she was taking pictures right under the waterfall where a block of ice fell.

“[It] was five minutes before the collapse,” she said.

The Vilyuchinsky waterfall at the Kamchatka peninsula
One died and four were injured after the waterfall collapsed in Russia. Source: East2West/Australscope

“We saw how these huge blocks fell, how they scattered, hitting people.

"People suffered – and one died.

“A boy was very badly injured, a helicopter flew him out, and he is now in intensive care.

“It’s very scary that five minutes later the same would have happened to us.”

The boy, 12, is in intensive care, and a man was also hospitalised while a woman was wounded.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry said the three injured and the person who died were part of a tour group.

Tourist Polina Syhyra had been taking a photo at the waterfall five minutes before it collapsed. Source: East2West/Australscope


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