[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Many die in Tajikistan avalanche
At least 16 people are killed as vehicles get trapped on a mountain road.
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2007 20:57 GMT
Russian television broadcast pictures of the area affected by the avalanche [EPA] 


At least 16 people have been killed in Tajikstan in an avalanche that swept down onto a road linking the capital, Dushanbe, with another city, Khudjand.

 

He said: "A massive avalanche on Friday closed off a mountain road, trapping large cargo trucks travelling from the north to Dushanbe.
 
"Yet another avalanche crashed down on the vehicles when they stopped."
However, the emergency ministry contradicted the death toll, saying that a minimum of two people were killed in the avalanche.
 

"Rescuers have so far reported two people killed but because of bad weather they are only able to phone in occasionally," Munira Nazariyeva, the minsitry spokeswoman, said on Saturday.

 

It was not immediately clear how many people were trapped at the site, 70km north of Dushanbe.

 

"There are still people under snow, we cannot say how many at the moment. The rescue operation continues," she said.

 

Pictures shown on Russia's Vesti-24 news channel showed rescuers digging through the snow with shovels.
 
The interior ministry source said all victims were either drivers or passengers of cars trapped in the snow.

   

The vital link usually closed for the winter season, stayed open this year thanks to the newly built $31 million Anzob tunnel that goes under a snow-covered pass.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Polio remains endemic in Pakistan as health workers battle anti-vaccine prejudice and threat to life by armed groups.
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.