Tourist Ignores Warnings, Dies From Falling Ice in Ushuaia Cave

A mass of ice fell from the ceiling of an ice cave in Argentina, killing a Brazillian tourist on Nov. 2, reports Cumbres Mountain Magazine.

The cave, known as Jimbo Cave, is accessible only by a nine-kilometre walk within a glaciated area of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego National Park.

The tourist, along with his dog and several other people, walked by a large sign reading “Alert: Do Not Enter” as they entered the cave.

Moments later, a block of ice fell from the ceiling and landed on the Brazilian visitor. Another tourist, standing back from the entrance, captured the event on video. Different outlets have variously reported the total number of tourists in the party as six or seven.

A search and rescue team based in the nearby city of Ushuaia arrived several hours later, according to Cumbres. The identity of the tourist is currently not public knowledge, though he reportedly had “no documentation among his belongings”.

Cumbres also reports the man was approximately 30 years old and was “traveling alone around the country”.

An investigation, including an autopsy and collection of witness statements, is ongoing.

Off-limits since 2021

National Park officials have prohibited entry to the Jimbo cave since 2021. That’s when scientists from the Austral Center for Scientific Research first raised flags about the cave’s stability.

snow-capped ridge in Tierra del Fuego national park

Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina. Photo: Shutterstock


“Entry is forbidden because ice and rock can fall from the roof of the cave,” police official Cristian Armani told Reuters. “Cueva de Jimbo is at the foot of the glacier, it was formed naturally from rock and ice and gets eroded by the wind and thawing temperatures.”

Ushuaia is Argentina’s southernmost city, located some 3,070km south of Buenos Aires.

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