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3 Students Missing on Mt. Agung

Massive Search Effort Continues for Three Mountaineers Missing Since December 26, 2007.

(1/5/2008) Three university students from West Java remain missing after last being heard from on December 26, 2007 during a climbing expedition on Bali's sacred Mount Agung. The three all students from the Economics faculty of STIE in Bandung, West Java, were last seen ascending a steep mountain trail on Wednesday, December 26th.

The missing students are Muhammad Ikbal (21), Eko Saputra Sudirman (23) and Tunit Indah Safitri (21).

In continuing efforts to locate the missing students, search and rescue teams and even the services of a paranormal have been employed to uncover clues to the three's whereabouts. To date the only trace of the missing hikers are mobile phones, backpacks and a waist pack containing money found on a trails and all believed to be owned by the climbers.

The group, which began its ascent from a trail located near Pura Pengubengan at the Besakih Temple Complex, is hoped to still be alive despite heavy rain, winds and cold on the mountain. Friends and associates of the three are optimistic that the three experienced hikers have managed to find shelter and to endure the ordeal of almost two weeks on the mountain.

The search covering treacherous terrain has resulted in injuries among the volunteer searchers, some of whom have fallen while hiking the narrow paths. Family members have asked that a helicopter be deployed to assist volunteers, police and the military personnel who continue to comb the mountain's sides.