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Girls Survive Seven Days In Icy Hollow

January 17, 1985

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Two teen-age sisters, braving subzero temperatures and lack of food, miraculously survived for seven days after falling into a 450-foot-deep ravine, the daily Politika reported Wednesday.

As they walked between the villages of Bogodol and Listice near Mostar in Bosnia-Hercegovina state, the two girls lost their foothold and slid into a hollow of a frozen stream down below from which they could not climb back up.

According to the report, the incident took place Jan. 6. The half-frozen girls were found last Sunday by a group of hunters who heard shouts from one of them. The other was already unconscious at the time.

Politika showed pictures of the girls as they were carried aboard a plane that took them to a hospital in Belgrade, their legs completely bandaged.

Snowdrifts had disrupted local bus traffic between villages, said the newspaper, and Shima Culjak, 18, and her 17-year-old sister, Drazenka, took a four-hour walk to reach Listice, where they were planning to catch a bus to Mostar in time for school starting Monday.

Politika said the girls usually stayed all week in Mostar and returned to their village only for weekends, so their parents believed they had reached their destination safely and no search was launched for them.

″We did not freeze to death because we tried and managed not to fall asleep for seven days,″ one of the girls was quoted as saying after recovering from shock.

According to Politika, the girls rubbed each other’s legs to keep warm, sang, encouraged one another and drove sleep away, realizing that sleep could result in freezing to death.

They said later they kept shouting but nobody heard them from a house only 200 yards away, apparently because of the wind blowing in the wrong direction.

It was only when they heard a shot that they shouted even louder.

″At first I thought it was children joking,″ said one of the rescuers, ″especially when the girls said she had been in the hole for an entire week.″

″We used a rope to bring the girls up,″ Drago Cavar, a municipal officer, told the newspaper.

Drazenka, the younger sister, was unconscious when they came to pull the girls out. Doctors said both girls suffered frostbite blow the knees.

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