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July 17, 2010

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Search goes on for local hiker

RESCUERS last night were still searching for a Shanghai backpacker who had broken his leg and lost contact with others on a mountain in the southwestern Yunnan Province.

The 25-year-old missing man, Ren Shengjie, was a graduate of Shanghai International Studies University and is now a teacher, according to his father.

"He has been stranded for three days and three nights," said Ren's father, who feared for his son's life.

Ren went to Yunnan with a friend surnamed Luo. Ren hiked up Cangshan Mountain in Dali Prefecture alone on Tuesday morning. He ventured off the regular path to get better views.

Luo, who was waiting at the foot of the mountain, received a text message from Ren that evening saying he had broken his leg during a fall.

Dali police were called immediately and rescuers were dispatched to the area. Some tourists also joined the rescue team.

However, the mountain's dense vegetation made it difficult for rescue workers. Ren, who is unfamiliar with the terrain, also failed to provide key location information to the rescuers.

"Ren told us there are trees and a creek near him," said a worker of the Cangshan Mountain Protection and Administration Bureau. "The information is too vague. Many places on the mountain have such scenery."

Ren turned off his mobile phone to save power from time to time. But the rescuers and the mobile positioning failed to spot him before his cell phone went out of service on Thursday morning.

Ren's parents arrived in Dali on Thursday morning and are very worried because he had not taken much food and may not have had warm clothes for the cold nights.

Shanghai Tourism Administration officials warned less-experienced tourists to choose developed scenic areas and venture out with certified tour agencies.

Similar accidents have occurred to individual travelers in recent years.

Three employees from the neurosurgery department of Shanghai's Huashan Hospital died after a boating accident in Tibet Autonomous Region last month.

Three Shanghai hikers were found dead after a flash flood in Luxi Gorge in Zhejiang Province last August.


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