Two people were killed and one went missing when an ice-swollen river burst its banks and plowed through a Siberian village, emergency response officials said Friday.
Twenty-four houses in the village of Patrika, in the Irkutsk region, were destroyed, and 54 were damaged when the Biryusa River flooded, said Viktor Beltsov, a spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry in Moscow.
In all, 222 people were evacuated from the village Thursday, when the water reached 5 meters (16.5 feet), he said.
Russian television channels showed dramatic pictures of houses and buses crushed by the moving ice, and distraught villagers, many of them elderly, being evacuated by helicopter. One woman was shown pleading for rescue workers to retrieve a bag she had left on her roof back in the village, which they did - and opened it to reveal a black cat.
According to Russian officials, the detainees are employees of the private security company who were on their way to Latin America via Minsk and Istanbul. Lukashenko calls Russian officials liars