The Americas

Search grows, hopes dim for missing European hikers in Chile

This combination of passport photos provided by Chile's ONEMI or regional emergency office, shows from left to right, Gillhem Bellon, 25, of France; Luca Ogliengo, 25, of Italy; and Dmitry Sivenkov, 32, of Russia, three European tourists hiking around the Villarica volcano in Chile's central valley, who haven't been heard from since Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2012.

This combination of passport photos provided by Chile's ONEMI or regional emergency office, shows from left to right, Gillhem Bellon, 25, of France; Luca Ogliengo, 25, of Italy; and Dmitry Sivenkov, 32, of Russia, three European tourists hiking around the Villarica volcano in Chile's central valley, who haven't been heard from since Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2012.  (AP)

The search for three European hikers on a snowy volcano in southern Chile now has high-tech help and a fresh group of volunteers, but heavy clouds are setting them back.

The hikers have been lost for more than a week now on the Villarica volcano.

Searchers are using a federal police helicopter as well as the private helicopter hired by Italian's family, and both are equipped with thermal imaging cameras that can see through the heavy snow that covered the hikers' tracks after they lost contact on Nov. 7.

Local university volunteers are now helping park rangers, police and army search teams and an expert Andean rescue squad in the search for Dmitry Sivenkov of Russia, Gillhem Bellon of France and Luca Ogliengo of Italy.