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Rescue teams search for 5 missing backpackers in Utah

<p>A search-and-rescue operation has been launched for five college students who went missing while backpacking in Utah over the weekend.</p> <p>The students were hiking in the rugged terrain of the Elk Ridge area of southeastern Utah when they were reported missing by their families on Sunday afternoon.</p> <p>Law enforcement said the students were last heard from early Sunday morning, and police have since launched teams on the ground to find the missing individuals.</p> <p>“We have snowmobiles looking for them right now,” said Sarah Rose, a dispatcher for the San Juan County Sherriff’s Department. </p> <p>Rose said the sheriff’s department was expected to launch a helicopter to aid in rescue efforts.</p> <p>She added that the surrounding terrain in San Juan County varied from canyons and mesas to mountains and as such could be difficult for hikers unfamiliar with the area.</p> <p>Temperatures in the area plunged into the teens overnight into Monday, according to National Weather Service data.</p>