Polish prosecution to launch inquiry into death of climbers in Slovakia

A district prosecutor's office in Krakow, southern Poland, will launch an investigation into the tragic deaths of three Poles in the Slovak Tatra mountains, according to polskieradio24.pl.

Their bodies were found near the Gerlachov Peak after a two-day rescue operation.

The three men, who had set out to climb Gerlachov on Friday, were reported missing on Friday around midnight by a friend who had not joined their expedition.

In the opinion of Slovak rescuers, one of the men, who was an international mountain leader recognised by the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA), had been leading the expedition to Gerlachov.

PAP has been told by the head of the Polish Association of Mountain Leaders that such a certificate does not authorise its owner to lead tourists into climbing areas.

According to polskieradio24.pl, Polish prosecutors plan to ask their Slovak colleagues for international legal assistance as they want to hear rescuers and other witnesses. Slovak police and prosecution have already launched an investigation into the incident.

The cause of death of the three men will be known after an autopsy has been performed. But according to Slovak rescuers, they fell of a cliff and hit the ground below.

In the opinion of the Slovak Mountain Rescue Service, "the three Polish tourists had chosen a wrong, summer path leading to the Gerlachov Peak."

"They had been tied up with one rope, and their leader, who had no proper qualifications, had improper crampons," Slovak rescuers said on Monday after they had analysed the accident.