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2 hikers rescued after falls along the icy Appalachian Trail
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2 hikers rescued after falls along the icy Appalachian Trail

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BIG ISLAND, Va. (AP) - Two separate hikers braving the icy conditions fell while traveling along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and were rescued Saturday, officials said.

The longer rescue took approximately nine hours and happened on the trail near Big Island and the James River Foot Bridge in Bedford County.

A Facebook post from Virginia Division III Technical Rescue Team said the hiker fell down a snow and ice covered portion of the "mountainside at least 250 feet (76 meters)." The hiker had injuries to his legs, face and was suffering from hypothermia.

A helicopter from Virginia State Police was requested by rescue officials to assist in removing the hiker from the embankment.

The second rescue happened in Roanoke County.

A Facebook post from the County Fire & Rescue Department said the hiker fell from the Sawtooth Trail, which is the Appalachian Trail connector trail from McAfee to Dragons Tooth.

Officials said the hiker was about a mile away from the parking lot and suffered a head injury after falling down the steep embankment. The hiker was later carried "off the trail through steep, icy terrain and over a creek, exiting near The Homeplace Restaurant."

Both hikers were hospitalized in stable condition.

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