Avalanches wreak havoc in Russia, Turkey
December 29, 1996
Web posted at: 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT)
MOSCOW (CNN) -- Rescue workers freed dozens of people Sunday
trapped in a Caucasus mountain tunnel by an avalanche, but as
many as 300 could still be inside.
Heavy snows along the highway that links Russia's North
Ossetia region with the breakaway Georgia province South
Ossetia have triggered avalanches and rock slides, including
the one that cut off the 2.5 mile Roksky tunnel.
Workers have cleared 12 miles of highway but were
stymied in their efforts to clear the tunnel by continued bad
Doctors and rescue teams entered the tunnel on foot,
bringing medical supplies and food. They feared a buildup
of exhaust fumes would become a health hazard.
In Turkey, an avalanche believed to have been caused by
vibrations from a snow-flattening machine killed at least six
at a ski resort near Erzurum.
About 30 students from a local ski club were training when
the avalanche struck.
Some 300 people have reportedly been killed by avalanches in
the same region of eastern Turkey in the past three years.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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