ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Three hikers, one slowed by an ankle injury, signaled a passing military helicopter with a mirror for rescue from the Alaska wilderness when they tried to reach a bus made famous by the book and movie “Into the Wild,” a U.S. Army Alaska official said Friday.

It’s the second rescue this summer of people making a pilgrimage to the abandoned Fairbanks city bus situated north of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The rescue, which was first reported by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, happened Tuesday after the three hikers became stranded by the raging Teklanika River.

A CH-47F Chinook helicopter from Fort Wainwright was on a training mission west of Healy when the hikers spotted it, U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said.

The hikers told the members of the U.S. Army Alaska Aviation Task Force that they had crossed the river on Monday but water levels had risen and they had run out of food Sunday.


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