YEKATERINBURG, July 11. /TASS/. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has come to a conclusion that an avalanche killed the Dyatlov group in the Ural Mountains in 1959, Andrei Kuryakov, a deputy chief of the directorate of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office for the Ural Federal District, told reporters on Saturday.
"[The dead tourists’] injuries are characteristic for the injuries of rock climbers caught in an avalanche," Kuryakov said.
In February 2019, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced an inquiry into the Dyatlov group case, 60 years after their mysterious death.
According to Kuryakov, a comparative analysis of the tourists’ injuries was carried out during the inquiry. All of them died of hypothermia, except Zolotarev, Dubinin and Tribeaux-Brignolle. Zolotarev’s ribs were broken.
"If we take a [tennis] ball, create surrounding pressure and push from above, it will break not where the force is applied, but on the opposite side. Correspondingly, if the snow presses everywhere from above (three or four meters of snow, that is approximately half a tonne of snow), then the injury should be on the opposite side. Hence, everybody had them on the opposite side," he said.
In February 1959, a group of nine ski hikers disappeared on the eastern shoulder of Otorten Mount (meaning Mount of the Dead in the local Mansi language) in the Sub-Arctic Urals. The mountain pass where the incident occurred has since been named Dyatlov Pass after the group's leader, Igor Dyatlov.
All members were experienced in long ski tours and mountain expeditions, triggering a search when the group failed to make a scheduled arrival. Three weeks later, five bodies were found, some hundreds of meters down the slope from the original camp. It took two more months for investigators to find the other four bodies.
Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of minus 30 C. Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. It was determined only that the deaths had been caused by "a compelling natural force."
Possible explanations included an avalanche, an attack by fugitive criminals or the indigenous Mansi people, a brawl among the tourists, let alone all sorts of conspiracy and alien theorists.