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Missing geological workers in Yunnan confirmed dead

By Li Yingqing in Kunming and Zhou Huiying | | Updated: 2021-11-22 15:26
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Rescuers from Zhenyuan county, Pu'er city in Yunnan province on Thursday prepare to start rescue work for four geological workers reported missing in the the Ailao Mountains since Nov 13. [Photo provided to]

The four geological workers reported missing since Nov 13 in the Ailao Mountains in Yunnan province were confirmed dead when three of them were found Sunday night and the other was found on Monday morning, the Zhenyuan county government said on Monday.

At around 7:30 pm on Nov 15, the county government received a report that the four staff members of the Kunming Natural Resources Comprehensive Survey Center of China Geological Survey had lost contact with the center since they entered the Ailao Mountains on Nov 13 in the county.

The local government carried out rescue work and over 3,700 rescuers from the county and nearby Yuxi city have joined the work in the past days, CCTV News reported.

"The four workers entered the mountains to carry out a forest resources survey," Wang Hongdong, director of the Ailao Mountains National Nature Reserve's Zhenyuan Bureau, told CCTV on Friday. "They carried compasses, engineer shovels, and some other tools, as well as enough food for about one and a half days."

Wang added that the four missing workers, ranging in age from 25 to 32, had the experience of serving as soldiers.

"We have preliminarily determined the cause for their disappearance — misjudging locations," he said.

The continuous rain from Nov 14 to 16 in the reserve brought low temperatures and thick fog, and the low visibility might have cause them to misjudge locations, according to Wang.

The regions where they lost contract featured some of the most complicated geographical environments in the Ailao Mountains. Even forest rangers may get lost for a short time in regions they seldom visited.

Therefore, it would have been quite difficult for the four workers to find the right way once lost and the complicated geographical environment may have brought the risk of injuries, he said.

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