Brit holidaymaker, 25, dies after falling off 15,400ft ‘volcano from hell’

A Scottish man has died after he fell while climbing a volcano in Ecuador.

Takling Rucu Pichincha near capital Quito, enthusiastic triathlete and runner Gil Banks, 25, fell to his death on Sunday.

He is understood to have lived in Caesarea, Israel, but grew up in Glasgow.

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His death was confirmed by the Israeli Embassy in Ecuador, which said in a statement on Facebook: "The Israeli Embassy in Ecuador mourns the passing of young Israeli Gil Banks, who suffered a fall while attempting to climb the Rucu Pichincha volcano, located in Quito, Ecuador, on Sunday, August 14.

"The embassy is conducting the corresponding process following the death of the 25-year-old Israeli young man.

“We express our solidarity for this sensitive loss and extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends.”

Tributes have poured in from those who knew and loved him.

One man, Eduardo Finkelstei, knew him while he was the triathlon head coach in Caesarea.

He said in a post online: "I remember with his wild red hair, great smile and an extraordinary runner. Gil and I had something a lot in common at the time, neither of us didn't speak Hebrew very well and we always managed to find a funny and interesting way to understand each other. (Btw he also helped me with my English lol).

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"My sincerest condolences for the family at this time. You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support.

"Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.”

Gil was educated in Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire, at Mearns Castle High School.

According to the Scottish Sun, another friend said: "Such sad news. Gil Banks was a neighbor and a friend.

"A remarkable young man. An incredible athlete. Smart and ambitious. Warm and generous with a big friendly heart to all who knew him.”

Oz Hochman, a childhood pal, told the Mail: “It was a great honour and fun for me to be part of his journey that was supposed to end completely differently.

“I can't believe I'm separating from you but, on the other hand, I know that experiences with you will accompany me until the end of the world.”

Standing at 15,413ft (4,698m) Rucu Pichincha is an active volcano. It last erupted in 1998 but claimed the life of a pair of scientists in 2000 with a steam explosion.


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