September 19, 2005

Two Argentines lost in Antarctic glacial crevasse

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Rescue workers battled
with rough Antarctic weather on Monday in an effort to rescue
two Argentine men who fell into a glacial crevasse believed to
be at least 165 feet deep.

An Argentine scientist and a naval officer were traveling
between research bases on Saturday when their snowmobile
plummeted through the snow cover. Three other people swerved
away in time and were rescued from the glacier by helicopter on

No contact has been made with the two since they fell and
hopes are fading they will be found alive in the subzero
temperatures of the Antarctic Peninsula.

"The rescue teams with the equipment and expertise to go
down that crevice are ready and waiting, but unfortunately the
weather has not permitted them to move," said Sergio
Policastro, spokesman for Argentina's National Antarctic Board.

Defense Minister Jose Pampuro said the odds the two were
alive are "very slim. But we have to keep trying."

Erratic weather and poor visibility make any rescue
operation extremely dangerous, Policastro said.

Nobody knows for sure how deep the crevasse is. Images
released by the National Antarctic Board showed a gaping black
hole on the ice that dwarfed the three survivors standing next
to it.