Rescue crews and paramedics, most utilizing four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles, spent a little over an hour Sunday traversing four square miles of Lehigh Anthracite property between Lansford and Nesquehoning as they searched for a missing teenage girl who reportedly fell down a cliff.
Just after 10:30 a.m. two teenage girls flagged down Nesquehoning Police officers as the teenagers exited the woods on SR209 near the WMGH/WLSH radio station. They told officers their friend had possibly injured herself after falling down a cliff and couldn't get herself back up.
Carbon County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) was called in and set up a command post at an entry point to the Lehigh Anthracite property, which was located between the Panther Valley School complex and WMGH/WLSH radio station on SR209. Responding were firefighters, police, ambulance, fire police and other emergency crews from Lansford, Lehighton, Summit Hill, Nesquehoning and Weatherly.
A State Police helicopter was also brought in to assist with the search.
One of the teenagers told a witness that they were startled after spotting a bear, got lost and then one of them fell down a cliff.
Employees with Lehigh Anthracite also responded and provided detailed maps of the area and terrain to help narrow down the search. Rescuers, with the help of the missing girl's two friends, found the girl an hour later, at around 11:40 a.m., near a spot adjacent to "lookout," a common loitering spot that overlooks Mauch Chunk Lake.
Rescuers coached her to climb up the cliff and through layers of thick laurel bushes.
Weatherly Ambulance responded with their recovery and cool down tent, while additional water and ice was also donated by the Tamaqua Volunteers group.
Joseph Greco, assistant chief, Lansford Fire Company, pointed out everyone's appreciation to all the agencies involved, to include the state police and Lehigh Anthracite. The teenage girl was able to walk out on her own, although the full extent of her injuries were unknown as of press time.
The Nesquehoning Police aren't currently releasing any information concerning the incident.