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Khamar-Daban incident

The Mystery of Khamar-Daban Incident: Another Dyatlov Pass but With a Survivor

In the remote wilderness of Siberia lies another chilling mystery – the Khamar-Daban Incident. The former Soviet Russia is full of bizarre disappearings and unexplained events. The Khamar-Daban incident is very similar to the more known Dyatlov Pass Incident, but the main difference is that one of the hikers actually survived this time.


Lyudmila Korovina was a 41-year-old experienced hiker and a strict hiking instructor, widely known among her colleagues and students. In the summer of 1993, she began planning a trip to the Khamar Daban Mountains with her six best students: 23-year-old Aleksandr Krysin, 24-year-old Tatyana Filipenko, 19-year-old Denis Shvachkin, 15-year-old Timur Bapanov, 16-year-old Viktoria Zalesova, and 18-year-old Valentina Utochenko. She was close to all her students, but Aleksandr Krysin was the closest to her.

Korovina had visited Khamar Daban before and knew the area very well. Khamar Daban was considered a very safe hiking destination, especially during the summer.

Start of The Expedition

Korovina’s hiking group arrived at the mountain village of Murino on August 2, 1993, and they were excited because the weather forecast had promised clear and sunny skies for the trip. In the mountains, there were two other hiking groups besides Korovina’s, one of which was led by her daughter Natalia. They were supposed to meet three days later on August 5th at the Retranslyator summit.

The first two days of the trip went well and efficiently, as the group quickly climbed to the top of the Retranslyator. However, the day before the planned meeting, the weather forecasts proved to be wrong, and extensive rains began in the area. Eventually, Korovina made the decision to set up camp, although they could have survived without it.

The next morning, they successfully dismantled the camp and planned to surprise Natalia’s expedition since they had already climbed the mountain the previous day.

First Signs of The Incident

Natalia’s expedition arrived at the planned meeting place well in time, but Korovina or her group was nowhere to be seen. Natalia and her group settled down to wait, but after a long time, they decided to continue their journey. Natalia thought her mother’s expedition was late because of the heavy rains.

The Horrifying Find of a Kayaking Group

On August 10th, a group of kayakers spotted a woman while paddling downstream near the Khamar-Daban. Some rumors say she was covered in dried blood. As the kayakers approached her, the woman began to cry and attempted to explain what had happened but was unsuccessful. She could only manage to tell her name to the kayakers, who discovered she was Valentina Utochenko, a member of Korovina’s hiking group. The kayakers took her to the local police station. Utochenko was only able to recount her version of events several days later.

Utochenko’s Side of The Events

According to Utochenko, on the 5th of August 10 in the morning, the group packed their things and continued their journey. After a short while Krysin, who was at the back of the group, started shouting and fell. She stated that foam was coming out of Krysin’s mouth, and blood was flowing from his eyes and ears. Following this, he experienced severe seizures before dying. The group leader, Korovina, rushed to his side and instructed others to continue quickly. However, according to Utochenko Korovina “started to hit her head on the rocks”. As the rest of the group panicked, the same fate befell everyone before Utochenko was the only one left alive. Despite shock and panic, she managed to escape the scene with only her tent and clothes on her back. Utochenko ran down the mountains, set up camp, and spent the night. She managed to fall asleep but woke up to the harsh reality, forcing her to scavenge resources from the accident site to survive alone in the forest.

Upon returning to the accident site, it appeared the same as the previous day, and Utochenko confirmed that everyone was dead. She descended from the mountains four days before reaching the riverbank, where the kayakers later found her.

Search for The Bodies and Cause of Death

The official search for the victims started on August 24, and the bodies were found with the assistance of a helicopter two days later. During the autopsy, it was revealed that all but one of the victims had died of hypothermia. The group leader, Korovina, had actually died of a heart attack. They all had bruises on their lungs and no signs of physical violence, leading to the conclusion that all deaths were accidental.

Theories and Aftermath

There’s really not much investigation upon this case, and just like all the other Soviet-era incidents it hasn’t been discussed a whole lot publicly. The most popular theories are that some neurotoxins were brought down by the rain or possibly the group ate some toxic food. These explanations don’t really offer any kind of comfort for those seeking the truth, and the Khamar-Daban Incident might stay a mystery forever.

Altitude Sickness?

There’s a pretty decent theory about the group suffering from altitude sickness, but for me, this still doesn’t explain everything. How they all died at the same time and why Korovina lost her mind? After all, many of them were quite experienced hikers and Korovina herself was an experienced teacher.

What do you think about this mysterious event? Is it the neurotoxins of the Soviet military or one of the more scientific explanations?

One response to “The Mystery of Khamar-Daban Incident: Another Dyatlov Pass but With a Survivor”

  1. […] Unexplained deaths of the Khamar-Daban hiking groupMystery of the Dyatlov Pass […]

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