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Georgia sends helicopter to collect stranded Russian mountaineers

August 07, 2012, 14:40 UTC+3

Theirs camp is reportedly at an altitude of 3,600 meters

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TBILISI, August 7 (Itar-Tass) — A helicopter joined Georgia's operation to rescue four Russian mountaineers caught in a rockfall on Mount Tetnuldi, the authorities of the Mestiisky district, where Tetnuldi is located, told reporters.

The helicopter of the republic's rescue service flew from the Queen Tamara airport. The number of rescuers and doctors on board has been increased.

The mountaineers' camp is reportedly at an altitude of 3,600 meters.

The Russian mountaineers said in an SMS message earlier on Tuesday that they were alive. "One of them, Vladimir Smirnov, broke his leg in a rockfall two days ago; his colleagues have no health problems," Mestiisky district official said. The mountaineers have a tent and a stock of food.

Three days ago, Georgia mounted a rescue operation for two Polish and one Austrian mountaineers on mountain Ushba, 20 kilometers from Tetnuldi. One of the Poles suffered severe frostbites and a helicopter was sent to collect the whole group. The foreigners were accompanied by a Georgian mountaineer. At that time, the weather was good and the helicopter was able to pick up the whole group.

The Mestiisky district is adjacent to the Kabardino-Balkaria stretch of the Russian-Georgian state border.

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