In a tragic accident in Quebec, Canada, five tourists went missing and one tour guide died after their snowmobiles plunged into the freezing water because of thin ice.
According to AFP, police officials said that the group was riding their snowmobiles outside the approved area for vehicles when the accident happened. It was where a river exits the Saint-Jean Lake, a police spokesman Hugues Beaulieu told AFP.
Reportedly, the group consisted of a total number of nine people including the Canadian guide and they were travelling across the shallow lake on Tuesday evening when the incident took place.
Two tourists even managed to stop their vehicles before reaching the ice and then saved one person from the freezing water. They later alerted the police of the incident also. The same evening the 42-year-old guide, Benoit L’Esperance of Montreal, was also rescued but he later succumbed to his injuries and died in the hospital. However, the five French tourist are still missing.
The three people who survived the accident were treated for minor injuries and hypothermia at a nearby hospital in Alma.
The group had hired their snowmobiles in a village, which was nearly 300 kilometers away from the trails. An AFP report said that rescue teams including divers and two helicopters were still searching the area. “This sector was not part of a marked trail, they were off-piste,” a police spokesman said. “They must not have known the area well, because it’s an area known for having critically thin ice because of the current,” a police official told The Guardian.
According to AFP, there are an average of 20 snowmobile deaths each year.