La Salle Students Rescued from Kentucky Mountain Return Home

Officials say the students were spending spring break building houses for Habitat for Humanity Thursday when they got lost hiking in Bad Branch Falls, a nature preserve near Whitesburg.

By Kelly Bayliss and David Chang
|  Sunday, Mar 10, 2013  |  Updated 3:07 PM EDT
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Two days after getting lost and then rescued from a mountain in Kentucky, students at La Salle are set to return to campus tonight.

NBC10Philadelphia.com - Nefertiti Jaquez

Two days after getting lost and then rescued from a mountain in Kentucky, students at La Salle are set to return to campus tonight.

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Dozens of La Salle University students stranded for hours on a cold Kentucky mountain arrived back on campus early Sunday morning.

Officials say the students were spending spring break building houses for Habitat for Humanity Thursday when they got lost hiking in Bad Branch Falls, a nature preserve near Whitesburg.

"Thirty-seven La Salle students and three staff members are safe and in good condition after being lost on a Kentucky mountain for about eight hours," said John Caroulis, a spokesman for La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Kentucky State Police trooper Tony Watts says the group was reported missing about 7 p.m. Thursday. Mayking Volunteer Fire Chief Tony Fugate says they were found around midnight. He says the students waited too late to head back from their hiking trip and became disoriented when it got dark.

According to Caroulis, all the students and staff were checked out at a local hospital. While one student with a pre-existing condition was being kept for observation, the rest of the group was treated and released.

The students returned to campus early Sunday morning. Jessica, a sophomore at La Salle, says she's relieved, especially because five of her close friends went on the trip.

"I know for a fact that they're all going to say they had the best time of their lives," she said. "Even with them getting lost, they're all going to look back at it as an enjoyable experience."

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