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Chile: Search grows, hopes dim for missing hikers

Updated at: 11/15/2012 10:35 AM
BY MAURICIO CUEVAS

(AP) PUCON, Chile - The search for three European hikers on a snowy volcano in southern Chile now has high-tech help and a fresh group of volunteers, but heavy clouds are setting them back.

The hikers have been lost for more than a week now on the Villarica volcano.

Searchers are using a federal police helicopter as well as the private helicopter hired by Italian’s family, and both are equipped with thermal imaging cameras that can see through the heavy snow that covered the hikers’ tracks after they lost contact on Nov. 7.

Local university volunteers are now helping park rangers, police and army search teams and an expert Andean rescue squad in the search for Dmitry Sivenkov of Russia, Gillhem Bellon of France and Luca Ogliengo of Italy.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)