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Missing Hikers May Have Been Seen

A group of high school students who had set out for a weekend camping trip and disappeared during a snowstorm may have been spotted Monday by a game warden pilot.

"By the air, we found this group walking single-file and we're sending someone in to confirm it's this group of missing students," said spokesman Mark Latti of the Maine Warden Service.

Three college students missing on a weekend hike in another part of western Maine were found safe Monday.

The 10 students from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School set out Friday with two adults for a weekend camping trip and were last seen Saturday morning by a parent of one of the hikers who met up with the group along the trail, Latti said. The group was due back Sunday.

Volunteer searchers had spent five hours looking for the students Sunday night, but found no trace of them. Latti said the group spotted from the air was walking along Route 113 in the White Mountain National Forest area near Maine's western border with New Hampshire.

Portions of western Maine were covered by more than 30 inches of snow during the weekend storm. Temperatures dipped to 10 degrees Saturday night and 19 late Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

The students were outfitted for winter camping with food and tents, but they did not have snowshoes, Latti said.

Also Monday, three Unity College students who set out Saturday for a weekend camping trek on Tumbledown Mountain were found Monday in their car, Latti said. They were in good condition, he said.

The men had been well equipped for overnight winter camping, with plenty of gear, food and a dome tent, Warden Thomas Jacobs said.

"Why they ever decided to do this when the storm's been on advisory for the last three or four days, I do not know," said warden Lt. Nathan Berry.

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