Rescuers search after an avalanche hit a ski resort in Russia. Russian Emergencies Ministry/Handout/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Three people were killed after an avalanche swept through a ski resort near the Arctic city of Norilsk late on Friday, Russian investigators said on Saturday.
The local branch of Russia's emergency services ministry said the bodies of two adults and a young child were found as part of a search and rescue mission involving 242 people and 29 vehicles.
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Rescuers had recovered the bodies of a 38-year-old woman, her 18-month-old child and 45-year-old husband. A 14-year-old was found alive and "taken to the hospital with serious injuries".
Video footage showed emergency services staff and volunteers battling high winds and freezing conditions throughout the night to dig out buildings buried under snow and ice.
Rescuers and volunteers take part in a search operation after an avalanche hit a ski resort in Russia. Reuters
Rescue volunteer Maxim Inikhov told journalists all of the buildings were unoccupied at the time of the Avalanche except for one housing the director of the resort's ski lift, Vlad Popov, his wife and their two children.
"We have a very strong blizzard so there were very few people vacationing today at the ski resort," Inikhov told Rossiya-24 television.
Adverse weather conditions, including snowstorms and strong winds, had complicated the work of rescuers, the emergency services said in a statement.
Russia's Investigative Committee said it had despatched officers to the scene in Norilsk, a remote city of 180,000 situated 300 km (190 miles) inside the Arctic Circle.
It has opened a criminal investigation, it said, to determine whether the buildings' owners had adequate safety measures in place. It was still seeking to determine who owned the four buildings that were engulfed.The avalanche covered a total area of 300 square metres, the management of the Gora Otdelnaya resort complex was cited as saying by the TASS news agency.
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