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A Pennsylvania man collapsed and died after suffering an unknown medical emergency while hiking up Mount Madison in New Hampshire, authorities said Monday.
Jason Apreku, 21, of Stroudsburg, was hiking with friends Friday when he collapsed on the Osgood Trail that ascends to Mount Madison, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a statement.
His friends called for help and began CPR while an Army National Guard helicopter was dispatched from Concord, about a 35-minute flight from Mount Madison. Ground teams were also deployed as a backup in case the helicopter was unable to reach the hikers’ location due to severe weather.
Nearby Mount Washington had gusts of up to 90 mph with a wind chill of 29 degrees as rescuers were responding to the call, officials said.
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Rescuers faced gusting winds and below-freezing temperatures in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains while trying to reach the 21-year-old hiker who collapsed on a trail leading up Mount Madison on Friday, officials said. (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images, File)
Severe wind and cloud cover on Mount Madison kept the helicopter from reaching the hiker, the agency said. Rescuers on the ground reached Apreku and continued life-saving measures, including CPR and using a defibrillator, for hours to keep the 21-year-old alive.
Apreku ultimately died on the trail, the Fish and Game Department said.
Rescuers carried the body of Apreku up and over the summit of Mount Madison to the Madison Spring Hut, where they awaited a National Guard helicopter to take them off the mountain, Fish and Game said. (Wild Horizons/Universal Images Group via Getty Images, File)
After additional rescue members arrived by ground, they carried Apreku to Madison Spring Hut, traversing up and over the mountain’s summit in “grueling and challenging” conditions that included “extreme wind gusts and below-freezing temperatures,” the agency said.
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“All rescue personnel had ‘full winter gear on’ to include fleece layers, puffy jackets, winter hats, goggles, etc.,” the department said. “Winter gear was an absolute must, and visibility was extremely minimal.”
Rescuers reached the hut around 4:10 a.m. Saturday, and a National Guard helicopter arrived at 7 a.m. to airlift Apreku and the rescue teams off the mountain.
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No update on what type of medical emergency Apreku suffered was immediately provided.