Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Avalanches trap 50 vehicles in Russia's south

For the time being rescuers saved only 15 people

Massive avalanches blocked about 50 vehicles in the tunnel on the trans-Caucasian highway, which connects Russia and Georgia. A Ford minibus with 15 passengers found itself trapped between two avalanches. No one was injured in the accident: the people left the bus, climbed over heaps of snow and went to the nearest settlement, Itar-Tass reports.

Rescuers have already saved 15 people that were trapped between the avalanches, the chairman of the local EMERCOM department, Vladimir Ivanov said. The accident happened on March 31st overnight, shortly before it was decided to close traffic on the highway.

”The people were going from Armenia in a Ford minibus. We were informed about the vehicle approaching from the opposite side of the pass, although the bus never arrived. It became clear that it had been trapped between avalanches. We showed the people the way out of snow heaps, although the bus had to stay on the highway,” Ivanov said.

”The people are currently staying in the settlement of Nar, in the mountains. It is impossible to take them elsewhere for the time being,” RIA Novosti quoted Vladimir Ivanov as saying. “It will be possible take the people out only after specialists provoke avalanches from two other mountains, in order not to risk rescuers' lives” the official added.

Vladimir Ivanov also said that fog and snow returned zero visibility on the Trans-Caucasian highway. The layer of snow reaches almost two meters.

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