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Rescuers continue search for sixth teenager trapped under avalanche

March 09, 2013, 11:14 UTC+3

Rescuers in Tuva’s Mongun-Taiga district continue searches for the last 6th teenager

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GORNO-ALTAISK, March 9 (Itar-Tass) – Rescuers in Tuva’s Mongun-Taiga district continue searches for the last 6th teenager, who went missing under the avalanche on March 3. Earlier information the boy’s body was found was not confirmed.

Last Thursday and Friday the rescue operation was suspended over the bad weather, Deputy Prime Minister of the republican government Vitaly Bartyna-Sady, who is working at the tragedy place, told Itar-Tass.

In his words, the snow blizzards with the gusts of wind of up to 25 metres per second that had been raging for the last two days stopped on the Ak-Bashtyg Mount, where the search continues on Saturday. Thanks to this factor the first team of 16 rescuers with sniffer dogs went up to the avalanche fall site. If the favourable weather persists, though it is changing very quickly in the area, one more team of up to 20 rescuers will join the search.

The numerical strength of the task force, which is involved in the cleanup of the avalanche in the Mongun-Taiga district makes 236 people, 41 units of machinery and five teams of police dog handlers.

The weather in the region as yet favours the operation, press secretary of the local branch of Russia’s EMERCOM Luiza Sevil said on Saturday.

Last Wednesday, five teenagers were found dead on the Ak-Bashtyg Mount. The rescuers from the Siberian regional emergency situation centre descended their bodies to the basic camp, then brought them to the settlement Mugur-Aksy. All youngsters were identified. The funerals of the avalanche victims will be held on Saturday.

On Sunday, March 3, the team of seven teenagers went up skiing on the Ak-Bashtyg Mount at an altitude of 3,252 metres above the sea level. The climbers included six students of the local secondary school and a 18-year-old school graduate. In the descent from the mountain the avalanche covered them. Only Anton Salchak, 17, survived. All youngsters were the athletes, including two wrestlers and five kickboxers. The only survivor Anton Salchak is the European kickboxing champion.

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