SA police investigate Table Mountain climbing death incident
Cape Town police have started investigating an incident in which two people died while climbing Table Mountain on Monday.
Another person was also injured and hospitalised. Hundreds of holiday-makers and international tourists were stranded on top of the iconic landmark as a difficult rescue and retrieve operation was undertaken using one of the cable cars.
The bodies of a female foreign tourist and a local male guide were retrieved early on Tuesday morning from the site of an abseiling accident on Table Mountain, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) said.
The sole survivor, also a foreign tourist, was taken straight to hospital for treatment. The extent of her injuries was not yet known.
Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) spokesperson Johann Marais said that after rescuing the female survivor, the cable car was then put back into use to bring down the approximately 800 tourists who had been left stranded on the mountain during the rescue operation.
The cable car company sent people up the mountain, on foot, to reopen the restaurant, where those stranded could wait and receive refreshments.
Everyone was brought back to the base by 02:00 and the cable car was then used to extricate the bodies.
The gender of the two people who died, was clarified by Marais on Tuesday, as previously it was thought that they were both men.
He said the exact circumstances of the accident, which took place on Monday afternoon, were not yet clear.
"They were abseiling and were each tied to the rope and all three of them fell the (full) length of the safety rope, there was no more rope."