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Rescuers leave for Altai Mountains to search for four mountain climbers

August 14, 2015, 19:25 UTC+3
The mountain climbers from Tomsk in Western Siberia reportedly died while ascending the Kupol summit on the glacial route in the Aktru gorge in the Altai mountains on the night from August 13 to 14
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Tyryshkin

TOMSK, August 14 /TASS/. Rescuers have left for the Aktu gorge in the Altai mountains where four mountain climbers are believed to have frozen to death, a spokesman for the Russian Emergencies Ministry department for the Tomsk region told TASS.

The four mountain climbers — Oleg Tverdokhlebov, Dmitry Shelefontyuk, Andrei Martynov and Alisa Rotanova — from Tomsk, a city in Western Siberia, reportedly died while ascending the Kupol summit on the glacial route in the Aktru gorge in the Altai mountains on the night from August 13 to 14.

"The Emergencies Ministry received the first alarm signal at 19:35 local time (16:35 Moscow time) on August 13. The next signal came at 4:00 (1:00 Moscow time)," the source said.

He stressed that the Emergencies Ministry could not confirm whether the mountain climbers had really died.

According to local alpinists, the route where the climbers supposedly died lies through the northern slope of the Kupol Mountain. They were supposed to get through the glacier and start descending first on the northeastern slope and then on a narrow mountain path where they could have come under a rock fall.

"The four alpinists were the TAKT club veterans who went on an outing to the Aktru gorge. Experienced mountain climbers have died," a source at the tourism and alpinism club (TAKT) of the Tomsk State University of Radio Systems and Radio Electronics told TASS on Friday adding that the climbers could have simply frozen to death.

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