The Tragedy of Antuco
On May 18, 2005, a battalion of the Chilean Army left on a routine training mission that required to march for 13 miles along the side of the Antuco volcano. It was a group of conscripts, most of them not over 18 years old, who had only started their military service less than two months ago.
Despite signs of bad weather coming, the commanding officer insisted in keeping the hike as scheduled. It proved to be a fatal mistake. Shortly into the walk, the group encountered a whiteout, a snow storm so bad that they started to show signs of hypothermia early on.
In the end, 45 of them died. Most of the ones who survived were left with permanent sequelae. It took a long time to find all the bodied buried under the thick snow: the last conscript was only discovered on July 6, almost two months later. It’s considered the worst tragedy in the chilean army in times of peace.
Five higher ups in the army were tried and found guilty of charges that went from manslaughter to negligence. None of them did more than 4 years behind bars. The state also compensated some of the survivors with 15,000 US dollars each, a ridiculous sum considering they had a lot of trouble leading normal lives after that.