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March 2, 2021
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Public Prosecution Service takes over case of teens killed by deadly avalanche

The case of two teenagers killed by an avalanche in Massif Retezat has been taken over by the Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics Section of the Public Prosecution Service with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation because of complex prosecutorial procedures, the service said Tuesday in a press statement.

“Today, April 25, 2017, a criminal file was registered with the Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics Section of the Public Prosecution Service with the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation regarding the death of two children in a deadly avalanche in Massif Retezat. The case has been taken over by the Prosecution Office with the Hateg Courthouse because of complex prosecutorial procedures. Investigations in this case will reveal whether or not this was an instance of culpable homicide,” the statement says.

Evidence so far has revealed that on April 22, 2017 around 07:30hrs, local, a group of tourists started off from a cabin in Mt Retezat en route to Peleaga Peak. An avalanche in the Salasu de Sus commune killed two of the group members, both minors.

The avalanche that killed teens Dor Geta Popescu, 14, and Erik Gulacsi, 13, occurred in the Saua Bucurii – Poiana Pelegii area, in a place called the Ram Cauldron, as the running snow swept along rock fragments.

The avalanche also caught five more people in its path who needed hospital care but are now out of harm’s way.

It took 11 hours to retrieve the bodies of the two teens as more than 20 mountain rescuers and mountain gendarmes had to brave highly difficult conditions as a result of the rugged mountain trail covered in snow, and icy winds.

The police opened a criminal case in the death of the two teens, with prosecutors the Prosecution Office with the Hateg Courthouse initially conducting the investigation.

Two days prior to the tragedy, mountain rescuers and mountain gendarmes had warned about an imminent danger of avalanches in Massifs Retezat and Parang after shown piled up more than one metre high at altitude 1,800m.

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