Hikers missing for a month are found safe

Oct. 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM

MINGFENG, China, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Seven Russian hikers missing for a month were found Saturday trapped in the remote Kunlun Mountain Range in northwest China, officials said.

Rescuers of Minfeng County, Hotan Prefecture found the missing hikers in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local officials told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.

The five men and two women hiked to the mountains in Mingfeng County Sept. 14 with a Chinese interpreter. The interpreter, Zhang Hong, left them and returned to the regional capital.

Zhang notified police after they contacted him Oct. 13 by satellite phone to say they were in danger and one member of their party was sick.

Rescue teams couldn't find the hikers at first. They hiked into the treacherous region without permission, Chinese authorities said.

Officials said all the hikers are in good condition.

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