Two Chinese hikers dead, 23 missing after getting trapped in snowstorm on mountain range
Rescue efforts are ongoing after two hikers died and 23 went missing when they became trapped by a snowstorm on a mountain range in central China this week.
The group of 30 backpackers, who had been hiking over the Labour Day holiday, were trapped on the Qinling Mountains in Shaanxi province after encountering heavy snowstorms on Tuesday, local broadcaster Shaanxi TV reported.
One batch of hikers – seven men and two women from Qinghai province – had arrived on the mountain range on April 30, ahead of Labour Day, Chinese Business News reported. Two other batches – 13 people from Zhejiang province and eight from Shanghai – had trekked up the mountain on May 1.
Rescuers found two men from the Shanghai group dead, the report said. They were believed to have died from the high altitude and low temperatures on the mountain range.
Five others from the Shanghai group were later found safe at an ice pond at the top of Mount Taibai, the range’s highest peak with an altitude of 3,750 metres. One person from the group remained missing, the report said.
The backpackers from the Zhejiang and Qinghai groups were all still missing as well.
Shaanxi TV reported that five of them became trapped on Ao Mountain, the range’s second-highest peak with an altitude of 3,476 metres, after the snowstorms. The whereabouts of the others remained unknown.
On Thursday, the local public security bureau said it was working with emergency rescue groups to continue their search-and-rescue mission.
The Qinling mountain range is known for its extreme weather, often recording temperatures far below freezing point.