Latin America & Caribbean

Chile rescuers save tourists after US emergency call

Phillip Kunk and Analissa Lombardo
Image caption The pair got into trouble in bad weather

Chilean rescuers have saved two tourists who got into trouble on an Andean mountain and raised the alarm by calling an emergency number in the US.

The two - an Italian and a Czech - used a satellite device to send their location to a rescue centre in Texas.

Local teams then had to contend with heavy snow, rain and high winds to reach the pair, who were sheltering on the slopes of the Quetrupillan volcano.

After the rescue, the tourists said they were lucky to be alive.

"It was very serious. At times we thought that we were going to die," said Czech Phillip Kunk.

Italian Analissa Lombardo said it was the most frightening experience of her life.

The two were taken a local hospital to be treated for symptoms of hypothermia.

They entered the national park on Monday, planning to walk along a trail that usually takes five days.

But they got into trouble by the early hours of Friday, and raised the alarm with Texas rescuers.

The Americans then alerted the Chilean authorities, and a rescue team was despatched to the area, near the resort town of Pucon.

The area, near the Argentine border, is popular with adventure tourists.