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Body of hiker found in 215m-deep cave

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

16:50, March 23, 2012

Li Xiong, 23, was one of a five-member expedition team on their way to Hoh Xil, an isolated region in the northwestern part of the Tibetan plateau in China, when they stopped by the cave in Zhuomu village, Zhenxiong county, in foggy conditions around 3:50 pm on Monday.

His teammates recall how, despite their warnings, he was so captivated by the scenery he was determined to get closer.

"Had he not insisted on feeling his way to it, he could have avoided the tragedy," said He, one of his travel pals. "There were slippery stones everywhere. It was so dangerous."

Li slipped on one step, and then fell into the cave in a split second, recalled Xu, another teammate on the trip.

Two rescue teams raced to the scene, working throughout the night trying to reach Li, but they could not reach him due to their inadequate rescue equipment.

It was only on the third day that neighboring Guizhou province sent a team to the site that Li's body was finally found 215 meters down.

It was Li's first hiking trip, according to his mother. "I did not want him to go in the first place," she said. "But he had made up his mind."

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