Searchers find missing hikers in Burke mountains

Two hikers who became separated from friends during a mountain hike Saturday afternoon were found by a search crew several hours later in a rugged area near Table Rock Mountain, according to Burke County emergency management officials.

The hikers were located by a crew about 8:30 p.m. Authorities had sent two teams of searchers into the eastern side of Linville Gorge after several other hikers called 911 from the Table Rock parking lot shortly after dark.

Authorities said initial information indicated five hikers were walking in the Table Rock area when at least one person became separated. The other four people went to the parking lot, called for help, and then went back into the woods to search for the woman. At some point, a second hiker was reported missing.

Steve Ohnesorge of WBTV, the Observer’s media partner, said he was told by authorities that the two rescued hikers were weak from the ordeal but were able to walk out of the woods with the rescuers.

The area of the search was rocky and mountainous, at altitudes between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. It was unclear where the hikers were from.

WBTV contributed.