ABERCRAVE , Wales, June 29 (UPI) — Rescue teams launched a search of the Brecon Beacons mountain range in Wales on Wednesday for 24 missing teens.
Mark Moran, a spokesman for Central Beacons Mountain Rescue, said cloud cover is slowing the search for the group, adding the rescue team is in intermittent telephone contact with the four groups of six people, who are not accompanied by adults. At least two may be suffering from hypothermia, Moran said.
The search began Wednesday afternoon, and is hampered by rain and winds.
The children, described by the BBC as “mid-teens,” are from England and hiking the mountains to obtain the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a prize for adolescent self-improvement and goal accomplishment.
Three mountain rescue teams, local police and a Coast Guard helicopter are involved in the search, which is centered on the village of Tararn Y Garreg in southern Wales. It was initially reported the hikers were trapped in underground caves, but it is now believed they are above ground.