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Oregon firefighters rescued two people Saturday after a rollover accident in a remote area left them trapped inside their vehicle for hours, authorities said.
First aiders received a call about a vehicle accident just before noon. 5 a.m. in rural southwest of Timber, a community located about 40 miles northwest of Portland, Banks Fire District 13 said.
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The caller said the vehicle was driven off the road and over a dam but could not provide the exact location.
Fire officials said minimal telephone service in the remote area prevented first aiders from immediately learning the exact location of the vehicle.
“None of the phones were able to hit more than one tower, which is necessary to provide good triangulation,” the fire department said. “The best location we had from the phones was which tower they hit, and in the coastal area it can be very misleading.”
Rescuers tried to narrow the search area using a variety of methods, including changing sirens and listening for the caller touting the horn of a vehicle, the fire district said.
About two hours after receiving the call, firefighters said rescuers met a hiker in the area who was directing them to the crash site. First aiders then spotted the vehicle, which had overturned over a dam and onto its roof.
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One of the passengers had fled from the truck while the other remained trapped inside. Firefighters carried out a high-angle retreading to bring both victims to safety.
A victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition.
Fire authorities warned that travelers should always know their location themselves, because you can not always count on mobile phones to provide accurate location information.