Last St Catherine hiker found dead

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Feb 2014

Lost hiker Mohamed Ramadan's dead body is found early Wednesday, raising the death toll of the St Catherine tragedy to four Egyptians

Saint Catherine Mount during winter
Saint Catherine Mount during winter (Photo: Archives)

The body of Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Ramadan was found early Wednesday, five days after he went missing when a blizzard hit the mountains around Saint Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai where he was hiking along with seven others.

According to Al-Ahram's correspondent Hani El-Asmar in South Sinai, Ramadan's body was found by Bedouin guides as well as a search and rescue helicopter from the armed forces. His friends, currently in Saint Catherine, say his body was discovered 400 metres away from the three hikers who were found frozen to death on Monday and whose bodies remain in the mountains.

The bodies of the other three hikers -- Hagar Shalaby, Khaled El-Sebaei and Ahmed Abel-Azim -- are to be retrieved later on Wednesday, after Ramadan's body is transferred to town.

Over the past 48 hours, endless pleas have spread on social media networks by the lost hikers' families and friends requesting the three dead hikers be retrieved from the mountains. Official armed forces spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali was cited by state news agency MENA as saying that weather conditions had reached -11C in the area, making it difficult for the army's search and rescue efforts to do so.

Late Mohamed Ramadan was among a group of eight hikers who lost their way in the mountains surrounding the Saint Catherine Monastery in South Sinai.

Four survivors among the group of eight hikers – Yosra Mounir, Maha El-Aswad, Ihab Qotb and Mahmoud Farouk – were found alive thanks to rescue efforts by a group of local Bedouins who had used their knowledge of the terrain to conduct an immediate search mission.

The surviving hikers were transported by camelback to a wide clearing at Farsh Al-Rommana, where they were met by an army helicopter and later transferred to Saint Catherine hospital.

The four hikers are in stable condition despite suffering from shock induced by their traumatic experience.
On Tuesday night, a number of TV channels and newspaper websites published photos of the dead hikers' bodies, causing outrage among Egyptian social media users.

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