KVIPost reports three people died while climbing Ukraine’s highest point Hoverla to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this ex-Soviet republic’s declaration of sovereignty.
President Viktor Yushchenko was among the 16,000 climbing the 2,000 metre peak (6,600 feet) , in the Carpathian Mountains.
Two of the climbers died from health problems, and a third was killed when the weather turned bad and lightening struck near the peak,.
Yushchenko has climbed the mountain about 30 times since 1971. In 2001, he announced the formation of his party, Our Ukraine, from atop the mountain. This time, the president was accompanied by two of his daughters, and was stopped almost every 10 meters (33 feet) to sign autographs and pose for photographs with other climbers, news reports said.