Casualties on Popocatepetl. About 5000 persons attempted the ascent of Popocatepetl on the week end of 15 October 1950, hoping to attend a religious ceremony in which the banners of mountaineering clubs in North and South America and Europe were to be blessed. They encountered a severe snowstorm. According to an Associated Press dispatch, three deaths and over 400 injuries resulted. Only 300 of the party reached the summit. Since the priest was not among them, the mass had to be cancelled.