7 hikers airlifted from Diamond Head trail

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Honolulu fire officials say it’s the largest amount of people rescued from a trail in a single day, seven hikers rescued from the Diamond Head trail today.

One was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

Fire personnel say the first call came in around 9 a.m. and shortly after, five more individuals—all un-related—needed to be rescued within the same time-frame. Shortly after noon, a seventh rescue was in progress.

“We saw the helicopter coming down to pick someone up and they wouldn’t let us go to the top of that stairwell—they had already lifted one person out,” said witness Russel Mason. 

Officials say those rescued ranged from 10 to 60 years old and that heat and dehydration were the contributing factor.

Mason added that it was so hot at the top of Diamond Head that he and his wife needed to take breaks to cool off. 

KHON2 spoke with 10-year-old Mia who suffered a heat stroke and was airlifted down this morning. 

“It was very hot,” she said. “I felt very dizzy and I felt like I was going to pass out.”

Mia’s parents say they had plenty of water and were close to the top when she started to look faint and then she began panting and was noticeably short of breath. Her mother adds that Mia has never had a heat stroke before and is usually active. 

Mia’s family members say the firefighters told them the air quality could have been the reason behind all the rescues.

Vog levels today were lower than yesterday, but still lingered. At the time of the rescues, there was little wind with temperatures in the mid-80s with very humid air. 

“Diamond Head can get a bit grueling,” said Dr. Darragh O’Carroll. “I would definitely take note and be cautious about exerting yourself more than you’re use to in a stressful heat environment that you’re not used to.”

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