Missing kids found safe after night on mountain

Kyodo

Two sixth-graders from the city of Osaka were found safe Tuesday after they strayed away from a school outing on a mountain the previous day.

The boy and girl, both from Joei Gakuen Elementary School, reportedly got separated from their group Monday while hiking on Mount Akasaka in Shiga Prefecture. Before noon, the two were seen with their party, which included about 80 other students, nine teachers and tourist guides. They were later observed hiking off by themselves.

About 180 Shiga police officers conducted a widespread search for the kids Monday afternoon and also used a helicopter to call out to the missing pair to wave their hands so that they could be spotted.

Neighboring Fukui Prefecture also helped, deploying about 30 police officers.

Seemingly unscathed, the two safely descended the mountain before noon Tuesday, accompanied by police officers who had spotted them.

The police will further investigate the incident, including asking the children about how they spent the night. They were carrying bottled water and snacks.

Mount Akasaka is known for its well-maintained and beginner-friendly trail system, and is a popular site for school expeditions.

The incident prompted the school to cancel the rest of the trip and bus everyone back to school Tuesday morning.