Search and rescue team reach mountaineering group after 2-day hike: confirm one dead, one injured

Search and rescue personnel from the Pingtung County Fire Bureau reached a group of hikers in a remote location in the Central Mountain Range and are awaiting improved weather conditions for a helicopter airlift of one deceased and one injured.

The group of 24 climbers called for help after two members of their team of 18 men and six women fell down a slope into a valley near Dagui (Big Ghost) Lake on the border of Kaohsiung City and Taitung County at an altitude of 2,275 meters on Monday, October 11.

The group reported that a 59-year-old man named Chen had lost vital signs, while a 58-year-old man named Zhou had a suspected broken thigh.

Helicopter rescue was not possible due to weather conditions. At around noon October 11, Pingtung County Fire Bureau dispatched a team of mountain rescue personnel to head to the location on foot.

Steep, slippery terrain, made more treacherous by heavy rain. Picture: Pingtung County Fire Bureau.

The rescue team braved heavy rain and wind generated by Severe Tropical Storm Kompasu, walking a trail with many washouts and collapsed sections, and reached the hiking group at 8:10 am this morning, Wednesday, October 13.

Fire Bureau paramedics confirmed that one of the hikers was deceased, and one suffered a fractured femur. Some search and rescue personnel will remain with the body, and the injured man to await improved weather for a helicopter extraction. A landing site is being prepared near the camp where the search and rescue team spent last night.

Three of the hiking group had already begun their descent on their own, and other members of the search and rescue team will escort the remaining 19 hikers out of the mountains.

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