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Ascent of mountain involving Ukrainian president results in tragedy


KIEV, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - At least three people died during a ceremonial ascent of the Goverla mountain Saturday in light of the 15th anniversary of the Declaration on Ukraine's state sovereignty, the Novosti-Ukraine news agency quoted the 1+1 national channel as saying.

According to the channel, two people died of health problems and one was killed by a lightning. The Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry gives no data on the victims.

A popular assembly with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko participating took place July 16 on the peak of Goverla (2,061 meters). Some 10,000-16,000 people were participating, including Sofia and Khristina, the president's daughters.

The mountaineers laid a symbolic capsule with a message, in which they promised to ascend the mountain on the same day in 10 years.

During descent, a storm with hail started. The panic and crush that followed left many people wounded, eyewitnesses said.

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