Death toll from Tibet avalanche rises to 28 - GulfToday

Death toll from Tibet avalanche rises to 28


Rescuers search for survivors on Friday. More bodies were found Friday following an avalanche that buried vehicles outside a highway tunnel in Tibet, raising the death toll with several people still missing. AP

Gulf Today Report

At least 28 people were killed in an avalanche in the city of Nyingchi in the southwestern region of Tibet, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Friday.

Search and rescue operations after a devastating avalanche that engulfed travellers on a Tibetan highway have ended, Chinese state media reported.

The snowslide occurred Tuesday evening at the exit of a mountain tunnel in southeastern Tibet, trapping a number of people in their vehicles.


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Local authorities have sent a total of 1,348 people and 236 equipment to help excavate a rescue passage of 7.5 kilometres (4.66 miles), Xinhua said.

Fifty-three survivors were found, five of whom were seriously injured, Global Times reported, citing a local government official in the western Chinese region.

China's Ministry of Emergency Management sent a disaster response team to the region the following day.

Rescuers search for survivors following an avalanche in Nyingchi on Friday. AP

The death toll from the incident had risen to 28, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

"The search and rescue operation came to an end at 5:30 pm Friday," Xinhua said citing rescue authorities.

The avalanche at the Duoxiongla Tunnel was "triggered by powerful winds and rising temperatures on Tuesday," experts from the local emergency rescue headquarters told Xinhua.

The avalanche occurred on a section of road between Pai village in Mainling county and the exit of the Doxong La tunnel in Medog county at around 8 p.m.(1200 GMT) on Tuesday, with people and vehicles stranded.

With an altitude of nearly 4,500 metres (14,764 ft), Doxong La mountain has steep slopes and Doxong La section of the road is rugged. The avalanche was triggered by strong winds as the weather gets warm, Xinhua added.

Avalanches are common in the Himalayas, home to the world's highest mountains.

In October, at least 26 people died when a mountaineering expedition was caught in an avalanche on Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II in India's northern state of Uttarakhand.




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