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Mount Rainier National Park

Search goes on for missing four

At Mount Rainier searchers resumed combing the slopes and roads Saturday for four people missing on the mountain since early last week.

Blizzard conditions Friday forced the search to end early, but mountain-rescue personnel and other searchers began again at 8 a.m. Saturday, concentrating on the Muir Snowfield, the upper Stevens Canyon drainage, Paradise Glacier and nearby areas, as well as searching closed roads by snowmobile, said Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold.

Saturday’s conditions were better, Wold said, but high winds, heavy snow and minimal visibility hampered efforts.

The park has a helicopter on standby from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, she said, but so far conditions have kept it on the ground.

The search will resume Sunday.

The four missing people — two climbers and two campers — were well-equipped, rangers said. But they were due back from their trips early in the week, so there is concern about their supplies running out.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Facebook spreads air-crash rumor

A rumor of a cargo jet crashing into military housing was quickly spread on a popular Facebook page at Joint Base Lewis-McChord just a month after a helicopter crash killed four Army aviators near the base.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports that someone wrote on a garrison Facebook page that a C-17 Globemaster IIIs plane had crashed on Thursday.

Base spokesman J.C. Mathews squashed the rumor, but it had already caught the attention of two TV stations and spread to the Facebook pages used by other Army units at Lewis-McChord.

Mathews says the person who wrote the original post will not be reprimanded because the person thought a crash had occurred.

The Air Force was not even flying C-17s out of McChord that night.

Many people in the base were using Facebook to get updates on the winter storm that was pummeling the region.

Times staff and news services.