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16 stranded on small island in Tibet
( 2003-09-22 08:04) (China Daily)

A 16-member team consisting of 13 journalists, two drivers and a guide who were taking part in a scientific expedition in western China are stranded on a small island 5,000 metres above sea level in Tibet.

The group is facing a severe shortage of drinking water because supply trucks trying to reach them was stuck in mud on the way on Saturday morning, sources with the sponsor of the expeditions told China Daily in a telephone interview yesterday.

"The drinking water they have is just enough to sustain them for two days and some of the team members have caught cold and have high fevers," said Ding Ming, general manager of Guiyang Laiguishan Wine Industry Co Ltd in Southwest China's Guizhou Province. The wine company has sponsored the trip.

Rescue operations are under way and a group of armed policemen is on the way to the small island in Ari in Tibet to see if it can assist the stranded people, Ding said.

He expressed worries that the rescuers won't be able to reach the group in time, because the island is located in a mountainous area some 600 kilometres away from Ari.

Ding said it will take at least four days for the rescuers to drive to the nearest highway, about 150 kilometres away from the site, with a vast expanse of swamp land between the two areas.

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