Three tourists killed by flash flood in Canary Islands

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The Independent Online

Three tourists died and more than 140 were rescued after a flash flood swept through a national park in the Canary Islands.

Three tourists died and more than 140 were rescued after a flash flood swept through a national park in the Canary Islands.

A group of 30 German-speaking tourists was in a ravine in the Caldera de Taburiente park on the island of La Palma on Tuesday when heavy rains went a sudden surge of water through the gorge.

The park, which includes some spectacular mountain peaks and ravines, attracts thousands of hikers each year.

Four helicopters were deployed as rescue workers searched the area yesterday for anyone else caught by the storm. A rescue services spokeswoman said: "Three bodies have been recovered and 142 people have been rescued. But we are not now aware of any missing."

A government spokesman had said earlier that two people were missing and feared there might be another two people unaccounted for.

The island's administrative director told Spanish National Radio: "We have located 142 people in the park, including a group of 19 Austrians, who are all safe." The German consul in Las Palmas, Franz Xaver Kramlinger, said the identities and nationalities of the victims had not been confirmed. "I'm told they were part of a German-speaking group of walkers," he said.

Warnings of more bad weather were issued for the Canaries yesterday. Further north, storms and strong winds in the Straits of Gibraltar kept fishing boats in port and interrupted ferry services between Spain and North Africa.

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