Spanish cavers die in Morocco's Atlas mountains

A military plane arrives from the Moroccan capital Rabat at an airport in Ouarzazate on April 5, 2015 during the rescue operation for the Spanish cavers found in Morocco's High Atlas mountains Image copyright AFP
Image caption Two of the cavers died before the rescue could be completed

Two Spanish cavers have died and one has survived after being trapped for days at the bottom of a deep ravine in Morocco's Atlas mountains.

A 27-year-old was rescued late on Sunday, but his two companions died of their injuries before they could be rescued.

Local media report that he is uninjured but suffering from hypothermia and post traumatic stress.

All three potholers had been discovered alive on Saturday morning.

The three cavers were Gustavo Virues, 41, police inspector Jose Antonio Martinez, 41, and police officer Juan Bolivar, 27.

They had separated from the rest of their group to explore different caves, and were reported missing on Tuesday, reports said.

The three men had seemed well on Saturday morning and reacted to signals from a search flight, Mr Martinez's wife said in quotes carried by El Mundo.

Image caption Morocco's High Atlas mountain range includes peaks with heights of over 4,000 metres

However, Mr Virues died later that day as search teams struggled to reach the missing men.

Local officials say that rescuers later reached the other two men and administered first aid but Mr Martinez succumbed to his injuries before the rescue could be completed.

Mr Bolivar had been successfully evacuated and was being transferred to the city of Ouarzazate nearby, officials said.

Rescuers had struggled to reach them in time as access to the 400m-deep (1,310ft) ravine was difficult,

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz offered his condolences to the families of both men on the ministry's Twitter account.

Morocco's High Atlas mountain range includes peaks with heights of over 4,000 metres (13,100ft). Many tourists visit the mountains for trekking or skiing.

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