TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Police on Tuesday (Dec. 15) found a man who had been missing for 40 days after he abandoned his scooter and jumped down a 100-meter ravine in central Taiwan.
The Heping Precinct of the Taichung City Police Bureau said that at 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening, it received a report from a 56-year-old man surnamed Yang (楊) who had found a man sleeping in a culvert behind the plant while out hunting near an abandoned power plant by Provincial Highway 8. Police immediately dispatched five officers and four fire department search-and-rescue personnel to the scene, where they encountered a 37-year-old man surnamed Chiu (邱), reported CNA.
When officers confirmed Chiu's identity, they learned he had been missing for 40 days. Police said he appeared weak and extremely emaciated, and they rushed him to a nearby hospital to assess his physical condition before questioning him about the incident.
Chiu being loaded onto stretcher. (Taichung City Police Bureau photo)
According to the preliminary investigation, at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, Chiu tried to ride his scooter into a restricted section of the Zhongbu Cross-Island Highway. However, he was denied entry by highway authority workers.
After his disappearance, the Taichung Fire Department and civilian rescue teams searched for Chiu for several days. Recently, drones and dogs were deployed to search the full length of the stream below the cliff, but no trace of Chiu was found.
A few days ago, members of Chiu's family went to the Taichung District Prosecutor's Office and accused Wang Chi-sheng (王繼生), the head of Heping Precinct's Guguan Police Station, of dereliction of duty for allegedly being slow to begin the search for Chiu.
Culvert where Chiu was found. (Taichung City Police Bureau photo)
As of Dec. 16, 320 police officers, firefighters, and civilian volunteers had joined in the search for Chiu, according to Taichung police. Chiu had apparently survived by drinking water from the nearby stream, and because he did not eat throughout the ordeal, it is estimated that he lost approximately 20 kilograms, reported UDN.
Chiu's family received the news of his rescue from the director of the Guguan Police Station and rushed to the hospital to visit him. Chiu's older sister said she is happy her brother was found safe and sound.
She said Chiu is conscious and that he has not suffered any serious injuries. She expressed her thanks to all the police and search-and-rescue personnel who had participated in the search.
Spot where Chiu was found sleeping. (Taichung City Police Bureau photo)