Third hiker in a week goes missing at Mount Rainier National Park

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June 29 (UPI) -- Rescuers have launched a search for a missing hiker at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state during the weekend, joining ongoing separate efforts to find two others who disappeared previous week.

The latest hiker to go missing was identified as Matthew Bunker of Seattle. He was last seen Friday and is believed to have fallen on steep terrain at an elevation of 10,400 feet, the National Park Service said.

The park service on Saturday sent a helicopter to the area, which is near the location of the Liberty Ridge tragedy on Mount Rainier that claimed the lives of six climbers in 2014.

Severe winds around Liberty Ridge, however, prevented the helicopter from getting close to the terrain and the crew was unable to locate Bunker on Saturday before returning to base.

Mount Rainier park rangers were already trying to locate two other hikers who went missing in separate incidents the previous weekend.

Vincent Djie, a 25-year-old Indonesian student who has been living in Seattle, was last seen June 19 hiking in the Longmire area of the park.

The park service said rangers and volunteers from the Tacoma Mountain Rescue were conducting ground and aerial searches and using infrared radar to detect any heat signatures being emitted in the area.

A third search, unrelated to the others, also was underway at the Paradise area of the park for Talal Sabbagh, a 27-year-old hiker from Seattle. He was reported missing June 22, when a preliminary search was conducted.

Efforts to find him expanded this weekend included seven ground teams and the park's helicopter.

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