Feb 13, 2018, 12:05 PM ET

US diplomat killed while climbing Mexico mountain

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An American citizen who works for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Mexico was killed while climbing Pico de Orizaba mountain, the State Department confirmed to ABC News Tuesday.

The staffer was climbing with another U.S. citizen and embassy employee was evacuated to a hospital, according to a Mexican official in Puebla state.

"We are extremely grateful to the government of Mexico for its prompt assistance in the operation," a State Department official said in a statement to ABC News. "Unfortunately, one of the climbers passed away. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends."

The embassy employee was rescued Monday afternoon and is currently hospitalized in Mexico City, according to the Mexican official. The staffer's body has been recovered, taken down the mountain by foot Tuesday morning.

The cause of their accident is under investigation.

The State Department would not say in what roles the two employees worked in Mexico or provide other details, citing privacy concerns.

PHOTO: Police officers stand guard outside of the American Embassy as demonstrators protest to demand the Mexican government defend the country in the face of Presidents Donald Trumps threats to economic policy in Mexico City, Feb. 12, 2017. Cesar Rodriguez/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Police officers stand guard outside of the American Embassy as demonstrators protest to demand the Mexican government defend the country in the face of President's Donald Trump's threats to economic policy in Mexico City, Feb. 12, 2017.

Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltepetl, is an inactive volcano that stands at over 18,000 feet above sea level — the third-highest peak in North America and the highest volcano, making it a popular mountaineering choice. It's about 125 miles east of Mexico City, on the border between the Mexican states Veracruz and Puebla.

In November, an American was killed after suffering a fall by the sub-zero temperatures, according to the Associated Press, and nine others had to be rescued amid icy conditions.

A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the U.S. employee who died while climbing Pico de Orizaba mountain. A Mexican official originally incorrectly identified the staffer as Freddy Cahill. The State Department later said that is not his last name, but out of privacy concerns, declined to provide his actual last name.

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  • Rob Sorbo

    I went to high school with the deceased. Great guy. He'll certainly be missed.

  • Realpshep

    Another Mexican killing Americans? Or just a tragic accident?

  • island_dog

    nice headline...talk about media prejudice, there is a difference between "killed" and "died". I guess the volcano stabbed him?

  • helicohunter

    "Was killed"? It would be more accurate to say "died", because killed implies that some action was taken to cause the death. Of course, they wanted people to click because they are expecting to hear about some horrible Mexican criminal.

  • just saying

    Are Freddy and Nathan brothers?

  • Cathy

    "We are extremely grateful to the government of Mexico for its prompt
    assistance in the operation," a State Department official said

    I'm glad the government of Mexico helped given how Trump has behaved. Maybe they will deduct the cost of the operation from the bill for the wall.

    Sad for the family of the person that lost their life and hope for a speedy recovery for the other climber.