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2 Killed on Kilimanjaro Climb

January 2, 2000

MARANGU, Tanzania (AP) _ Two people have died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to mark the new millennium and nearly three dozen others had to be rescued from Africa’s highest peak, authorities said Sunday.

The dead were identified as Janepher Stephen, 51, an American, and Werner Hoain, 55, a German, said Loirivi ole Moirana, the chief warden for Kilimanjaro National Park. Home towns were not immediately available.

Mrs. Stephen collapsed and died Saturday at 19,443 feet on the craggy rim of the three extinct volcanoes that form Mount Kilimanjaro, Moirana said. An autopsy was planned to determine the exact cause of death.

Hoain died Friday at 15,510 feet and his body was taken to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, authorities said. Citing an unidentified guide, police said Hoain had breathing difficulties before he collapsed.

Officials at Arumeru Tours, which organized Mrs. Stephen’s tour, and Serengeti Tours, which handled Hoain’s trip, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Tanzania National Parks department reported that 33 people suffering from altitude sickness and other ailments had been rescued.

Usually, between 400 and 700 tourists climb Mount Kilimanjaro during the November-to-January climbing season. But about 1,000 tourists from the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain, Australia, France, South Africa, Japan and Tanzania were taking part in the millennium climb that began Dec. 20 and was scheduled to end Jan. 5. Multiple routes and tour groups were involved.

On Saturday, 100 climbers from around the world toasted the arrival of the 21st century on the mountain made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his 1939 short story, ``The Snows of Kilimanjaro.″ One Tanzanian couple renewed their wedding vows to each other as the sun rose over their homeland.

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