Thirty people are reported dead and over 100 are missing in the Koban valley in North Ossetia after a huge ice-slide swept down the valley between the Kazbek and Elbrouz mountains on Friday. President Putin called the disaster “an enormous catastrophe”.
500 rescue workers are trying to find the 110 people reported missing, among them a film crew of 27 people who were working on the film “The prisoner of the Caucasus”, for a joint French-Russian film production company, “east-west”. The popular Russian actor Serguei Bodrov is among the missing.
The glacier, 150 metres high, crashed 30 kilometres down the Koban valley, sweeping the village of Nijni Karmadon before it, burying it under 40 metres of ice and mud. Rescue workers have little hope of finding any survivors alive and there are fears that flooding will occur, since the course of a ricer was blocked in the avalanche.
President Putin, visibly moved by the tragedy, stated that “there was probably never another event like this” in the history of mountain disasters in the country.
Timofei BYELO PRAVDA.Ru