Rod Keates, 71, was on a holiday after his retirement when he fell into scorching hot mud iStock

A British pensioner died in horrific circumstances while on holiday in Bolivia after falling into scorching hot mud next to a geyser on Saturday (5 November).

Rod Keates, a retired magistrate, was on a three-week holiday to South America and had gone to photograph geysers when he sank into the liquid mud after getting too close.

The 71-year-old screamed for help and was rescued by others on the trip, but died on the way to hospital after suffering severe burns.

Keates, from Billesden, Leicestershire, leaves behind his wife, Pat, three daughters and five grandchildren.

David Mills, 71, who had known Keates since they were teenagers, told the Daily Mail: "He was an explorer by nature and he had gone to South America and met up with a group who were travelling to Chile.

"He went out on his own to photograph the geysers on Saturday morning and obviously got too close. There's a hard crust on the surface but liquid mud underneath, and it's really hot.

"Immediately the others heard him cry out and they helped him out, but sadly he died on his way to hospital. He was a very generous and kind person."

Another friend, Pete Bruning, 72, added: "He was a super chap and his death was very, very tragic.

"We were all shattered and we can't get our minds around the fact he won't be coming home from South America.

"He was always wanting to go to exotic places — he wanted to see as much of the world as he could."

Keates attended Lancaster School for Boys in Knighton, Leicester, before a career in banking and business. He later worked as a magistrate in Leicester until his retirement at 70.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: "We are providing support to the family of a British national following a death in Bolivia."