Demands to see path safety plan after death on new El Saltillo walking route

Emergency services at the scene of Tuesday's accident where a 56-year-old woman died.
Emergency services at the scene of Tuesday's accident where a 56-year-old woman died. / E. Cabezas
  • The victim is believed to have lost her balance in an area near to the suspension bridge before falling 50 metres

Following the death of a 56-year-old woman on the newly opened El Saltillo walk in the Axarquía on Tuesday, opposition political groups at Canillas de Aceituno town hall and Malaga's provincial authority (Diputación) have demanded to see safety plans.

The woman, from Malaga city, was doing the walk along with her husband on Tuesday afternoon when she is believed to have lost her balance and fallen some 50 metres down a ravine close to the suspension bridge.

Rescuers recovered the woman's body from an area which was difficult to access, using a police helicopter and with the help of other hikers who were in the area at the time.

On Wednesday the opposition spokesperson in the Diputación, José Bernal, asked to see safety, emergency and evacuation plans as well as licences.

"We want to know if the El Saltillo area had all the correct safety measures, emergency and evacuation plans required for its opening," he told reporters. Bernal also expressed his "deepest sympathy" for the victim's family. She leaves behind her husband, two children and four grandchildren.

Mayor of Canillas de Aceituno Vicente Campos also expressed his regret at the accident and called on people to respect the ongoing police investigation into the events leading up to the accident.

Speaking to the Axarquía's Cadena SER radio station, Campos insisted that the area, also known as 'the Axarquía's Caminito del Rey', "meets all the requirements". However, he added that "it is a mountainous route, with all of its risks and beauty. It isn't the promenade". The mayor went on to say that the area has signposts warning "of the risks involved in a mountain hike".

The suspension bridge, which connects the two sides of a gorge above the Almachenes river, forming part of the great Malaga trail, opened on 26 October. In its first week around 3,000 people were expected to do the walk, which takes in the villages of Canillas de Aceituno, Cómpeta and Sedella.