Members of the Italian Alpine rescue team take part in the rescue operation on Mount Cermis© AFP 2013/ GIUSEPPE CACACE
MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's Consul General in Milan has confirmed that six Russian tourists have been killed and two others seriously injured in a tragic snowmobile accident in the Italian Alps.
Four women and two men died at Cermis in the Trentino province late on Friday when their rented snowmobile tipped over and fell into a deep ravine. Two other men, including the driver, were sent to a hospital in Trentino, Alexei Paramonov told Rossiya 24 TV on Saturday.
Five tourists, who died in the accident, and another one, who survived, came from the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, while two others worked in Italy in the sphere of tourism, said.
The accident occurred on a steep slope at the altitude of 2,000 meters while the eight were traversing a closed ‘black’ track most likely on the way from a restaurant to their hotel.
The driver apparently lost control of the snowmobile and the vehicle broke through the safety nets, plunging about 100 meters down the slope.
Some of the passengers were thrown on the track itself, while others were found among the surrounding rocks and trees, farther down the cliff, the rescuers said.
“According to a preliminary investigation report, the accident occurred due to the exceeded speed limit of the snowmobile on a dangerous part of the mountainous road,” Paramonov said adding that an investigation is underway to determine whether a technical failure of the vehicle was a factor.
Meanwhile, Russia's state tourism watchdog said “carelessness” of the Russian tourists is to blame for the accident.
“Poor knowledge of the route and negligence of the Russians could be a factor. Usually, people don’t drive snowmobiles at night,” Rostourism spokesperson, Irina Fegolkova, was cited by Izvestia as saying.
She said tests for alcohol levels in the blood of the Russian tourists could be carried out if necessary.
( This article was updated at 3.45 p.m. adding details)
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