Summary: Three American tourists were killed when rocks tumbled down Mount Kilimanjaro and smashed into climbers preparing to scale the peak of Africa's highest mountain, officials said on Thursday.
Five others, three Americans and two Tanzanians, were injured in the rock slide close to Arrow Glacier base camp on Wednesday, said James Wakibara, chief warden at Mount Kilimanjaro Park.
The camp, at an altitude of some 4,700 meters (15,500 ft), lies on one of the mountain's most arduous routes.
"Above that particular altitude on the mountain, there was a massive fall of rocks that went straight into the people who were climbing," Wakibara said.
Two of the injured had been airlifted to Nairobi in Kenya for treatment, while the others were being treated at Kilimanjaro Hospital.
One body had been brought down while workers were still trying to carry the others off of the mountain, he said.
U.S. embassy officials were unable to confirm the information.
Rising to 5,895 meters (19,430 feet), Mount Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania along the Kenyan border, has three peaks —— Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. Every year, more than 20,000 trekkers set out to reach the "roof of Africa," attracted by the lure of the world's largest volcano.
U.S. scientists have predicted that Mount Kilimanjaro's glaciers are melting so fast they will be disappear in less than 20 years. It is thought that the shrinking glaciers have loosened rocks they once held in place.