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40 Hikers Rescued in Kentucky: ‘Pretty Rough Country Back in There’

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 8, 2013 Last Updated: March 8, 2013
Related articles: United States » South
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40 hikers rescued in Kentucky: Several dozen hikers from a Philadelphia-area college got lost but were rescued soon after on Pine Mountain in Kentucky.

A Google Maps screenshot shows the location of Pine Mountain in Kentucky. (Screenshot taken by The Epoch Times)

A Google Maps screenshot shows the location of Pine Mountain in Kentucky. (Screenshot taken by The Epoch Times)

Authorities said they rescued 40 hikers from a college in Pennsylvania who were taking a trip through the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.

Only one of them remained in the hospital on Friday, reported WKYT.

The student hikers, who are from La Salle University in Philadelphia, were lost on Pine Mountain, located near the border with Virginia, the station said. All are slated to return on Saturday, officials said.

Several volunteer fire departments were deployed to aid in the search. The hikers were found several hours later after they were reported missing on Thursday evening

“It’s pretty rough country back in there,” Mayking Volunteer Fire Chief Tony Fugate, who helped with the rescue, told The Associated Press.

One of the students hurt a knee and several others showed minor symptoms of hypothermia.

Dena Sparkman, the Community CEO for Whitesburg ARH Hospital, told Kentucky.com that the students were treated for possible exhaustion, dehydration, and hypothermia. Staff also gave the students, who were cold and wet, chicken noodle soup, pajama pants, and dry clothes.

“The other thing was loaning them cellphones so that they could call their parents. That was an emotional time,” Sparkman told the publication.

Fugate said that only a few students had flashlights. “We knew they were on the loop, but not where on the loop,” he said, according to AP. “We tracked them down.”

According to Wunderground.com, temperatures around Pine Mountain will dip down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Rescuing 37 people is a monumental undertaking,” local Shad Baker, who created many trails in the area, told AP. “So the fact that they got them out is really good.”

He added that when the hikers got to Pine Mountain, it was nearing dark and the area was covered by branches and snow.

“I think once they got up there, there’s 37 footprints going every which direction. … I think they couldn’t figure out which way they came from,” he told the news agency.

There are elk, black bears, deer, and rattlesnakes on Pine Mountain, which has a maximum elevation of 3,273 feet. It is said to be the “Black Bear Capital of Kentucky,” according to the Kentucky Tourism website.

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