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Hundreds of teenagers were rescued from Dartmoor as night fell yesterday, after the Ten Tors expedition was abandoned because of bad weather.

The 37th expedition, in which 2,400 people took part, was called off by the Army yesterday afternoon because of life-threatening weather conditions. Only 60 of the 400 teams had completed the trek, which began on Saturday morning.

The remainder were lifted off the moor in a major rescue operation involving Sea King helicopters, cars, army personnel and Dartmoor Rescue Group teams. With just a couple of hours of daylight left, 140 people were still scattered across the moor.

However, fears that some of the young trekkers would have to stay out a second night were not realised. Brigadier John Powell, Ten Tors director, said last night: "The army is confident there are no teenagers left on the moor."

It was the first time for 10 years that the expedition had been called off due to weather.