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Man clinging to 200-foot cliff in Utah saved

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities say a 23-year-old man clung precariously to a rocky cliff 200 feet above ground for two hours before somebody finally heard his cries for help early Friday.

A gas station worker heard the man yelling at about 2 a.m. and called 911. That set off a rescue by firefighters who climbed above the man and rappelled down to get him safely off the cliff, said Jason Asay, a Fire Department spokesman. A spotlight helped them find him during the overnight operation.

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The man, whose name authorities are not releasing because he has not been charged with any crime, told firefighters he decided to go on a night hike at about 9 p.m. Thursday. It is unclear how exactly he got himself stuck on the cliff. He had his feet in a secure spot and his hands were grasping some rocks above.

‘‘He was hanging tight. He was in a tough spot,’’ Asay said. ‘‘It was pretty much 200 feet straight down.’’

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