40 Hikers Rescued In Eastern Kentucky After Freezing Night On The Mountains

  on March 08 2013 4:38 PM

Forty hikers were rescued on Pine Mountain in Kentucky's Letcher County after a college trip turned into a scary, hours-long ordeal of confusion Thursday.

The hikers from La Salle University in Philadelphia became disoriented and lost their way as night fell on the Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve outside Whitesburg.

One of them was hospitalized Friday, while the other 39 were expected to return to La Salle by Saturday, the day they were originally expected to return.

The group, consisting of 37 students and 3 staff members, first called for help Thursday around 7 p.m. EST and were located by 11 p.m. by their rescuers. After congregating around a campfire, the hikers were led out of the wilderness Friday by 4 a.m.

Sources told the Lexington Herald-Ledger the group was treated for dehydration, exhaustion, and hypothermia. Their treatments included healthy doses of hot chicken soup, administered while they made contact with their families.

A La Salle representative said the group had spent spring break helping build houses in the Harlan, Ky., area, about a half-hour from Whitesburg, according to the Associated Press.

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