BSHARRI, Lebanon: A Czech tourist fell to his death hiking along a steep incline in the Qadisha Valley while on a trip to the northern region, a security source told The Daily Star Tuesday.
Early in the day, police located the body of the Czech tourist Thomas Rezika, 46, who went missing late Wednesday while hiking a rugged trail in the Qadisha Valley.
Rezika’s fall into a water canal was likely due to poor visibility and the presence of thick fog. The canal lies to the east of the Saint Thomas historical shrine in the region of Hashta, between the Hasroun and Hadsheet villages.
The Army Special Forces, the Internal Security Forces, officials from the valley and the municipal police from the union of the region’s municipalities participated in search and rescue efforts, along with trained search dogs.
Civil Defense was dispatched to help pull the body from the deep valley carved by the Qadisha River, which lies within the Bsharri and Zghorta districts in north Lebanon.
A medical examiner along with a forensic team arrived at the site where the body was found to determine the circumstances of the man’s death.
Efforts were underway until late in the evening to lift the body from the canal and transport it to the dirt road at the bottom of the valley where an ambulance was waiting to take it to the Tripoli Public Hospital, the source said.
A copy of the medical report will be sent to Lebanese authorities as well as the Czech Embassy in Beirut.
The search for Rezika began Thursday morning after authorities tracked text messages he sent to Bou Khass hotel in Bsharri Wednesday. Caretaker Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui had the messages traced.