Four Chinese geological investigators who had been missing for a week were found dead in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities reported on Monday.
In a sweep across multiple counties,
the rescue team found the bodies of three geologists without vital signs in the township of Shuitang on Sunday and another without vital signs on Monday.
Ten helicopters and dozens of vehicles, drones, satellite phones as well as over 8,000 people had been deployed for the search and rescue mission,
which faced severe challenges due to a highly difficult terrain.
The four geologists, all from Kunming Natural Resources Comprehensive Survey Center of the China Geological Survey,
entered the Ailao Mountains on November 13 to survey forestry resources.
Two days later, the local government of Zhenyuan County, from where the four set out, received a report that contact had been lost.
Wang Hongdong, who works at the Ailao Mountains National Nature Reserve, said severe weather may have caused the geologists lose their way,
as continuous rainfall in previous days lowered the level of visibility in the mountains, making it easier for people to get lost.