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May 24, 2011

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Tourist missing on mountain

A 61-YEAR-OLD Shanghai tourist is missing in the Tianmushan Mountain Scenery Area. Zhejiang Province police are searching for him on the mountain, officials said yesterday.

Zhang Quancai, a lawyer, was part of a group visiting the area on Saturday. Most were people aged between 50 and 60 who were colleagues or relatives.

On Saturday afternoon, during free time, Zhang and a middle-aged couple went to climb the 500-meter mountain by themselves.

About halfway, the couple said they needed to take a rest, and Zhang continued alone.

When they reached the top of the mountain, they couldn't see Zhang. "I thought he might have gone sightseeing, and never thought he could be lost," said the husband, surnamed Ye.

Ye and his wife took several pictures on the top of the mountain before descending the path they had climbed.

The couple returned to their hotel about 4pm. Discovering that Zhang hadn't come back, they feared something may have happened to him.

They called Zhang, and he told them he was lost on the mountain. Fellow group members asked him to stay where he was and they would come to him but Zhang insisted he could manage to find his way down the mountain.

Two hours later, however, Zhang hadn't shown up. By then it was dark and had started raining. Concerns were increased as calls were not connecting to Zhang's cellphone.

The group called the police and the Lin'an Public Security Bureau sent 80 emergency services personnel who searched until 2am but found nothing.

At first light on Sunday, more than 100 people, including military personnel, searched the mountain again, but without success.

"The searching will continue until he is found," Cai Jiangli, a Lin'an city government official said yesterday.


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