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Three hikers dead in Saint Catherine blizzard, one still missing

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Four hikers were rescued and evacuated as search for final member continues

An Egyptian Bedouin pictured looking towards the Catherine monastery at the foot of Mont Sinai  (AFP File Photo)

An Egyptian Bedouin pictured looking towards the Catherine monastery at the foot of Mont Sinai
(AFP File Photo)

Three hikers out of a party of eight were discovered dead Monday after being stranded while hiking in Saint Catherine. One of the members of the party is still missing, while four were successfully evacuated.

Tamer Abdul Aziz, a friend of four of the hikers, said that the evacuated hikers are currently in Saint Catherine Hospital recovering from their injuries.

According to a statement released by army spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Ali, a search for the final member is underway. Ali said that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered army search and rescue aircraft as well as pedestrian patrols to comb the area.

Abdul Aziz said an army plane was waiting to take off, but an official order for the rescue operation had not been received at the time of print.

Colonel Ali declined to comment further on the situation.

Harsh weather conditions, with temperatures reaching -30C stranded the unprepared hikers. Most of the hiking in the area is done during summer to avoid the often unpredictable winter weather conditions.

The rescued hikers were identified as Mahmoud Ramadan, Yousra Moneer, Maha ElAswad and Ihad Qotb.

The dead hikers as well as the missing member of the party have yet to be identified. Reports indicated that the missing hiker was spotted by an army airplane, but it was unable to land at night.

Although reports indicated that a number of local Bedouins, who are familiar with the area, are aiding in the military’s search for the missing hiker, Abdul Aziz said that this was untrue as it would take them three days to reach the last known location of the missing hikers.

The hikers have been missing since Saturday.

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