British man, 25, dies after falling from volcano while trying to scale 15,400ft peak

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Gil Banks, pictured zipwiring in Costa Rica in March (Gil Banks/Facebook)
Gil Banks, pictured zipwiring in Costa Rica in March (Gil Banks/Facebook)

A “remarkable” British man died after falling from a volcano in Ecuador.

Gil Banks, from Glasgow, plummeted to his death while attempting to scale the 15,400ft peak on Sunday.

There has been an outpouring of grief from loved ones who describe the 25-year-old as a “a perfect and loving friend”.

The accomplished athlete - who grew up in Scotland before moving to Israel with his family - is understood to have been travelling around South America having recently finished service in the Israeli army.

The Israeli Embassy in Ecuador said it “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”.

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

In a moving post on social media, friend Oz Holchman remembered Mr Banks as “a brother”.

He described meeting at summer camp as children, before studying together at school in Israel, being in the same triathlon team, and together joining the army.

“You were a perfect and loving friend and a person that wherever he goes he gives and receives a lot of love,” he wrote. “It was a great honor 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 and on the other hand, I know that experiences with you will accompany me until the end of the world.”

Friend and neighbour Michael Sapir paid tribute to Mr Banks as “a remarkable young man” and “incredible athlete”.

He described him as “smart and ambitious, warm and generous with a big friendly heart to all who knew him”.

Mr Banks’ former triathlon coach Eduardo Finkelstein also told of his heartbreak at the tragic news.

“I remember with his wild red hair, great smile and an extraordinary runner,” he said.

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