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Hope fading for survival of missing Russians in SW China: officials

Two Russian tourists missing in an avalanche in southwest China had "virtually zero" chance of survival after being buried for five days, but rescue efforts would continue, local authorities said Monday.

The likelihood of the man and woman surviving the bitter cold, especially after two days under the snow were remote, said Lin Li, secretary-general of the Mountaineering Association of Sichuan Province.

"Rescuers have failed to reach the site, 5,100 meters above the sea level on Luotuo Peak (Camel Peak), of the Siguniang Mountain, because all paths are covered after a two-day storm," Lin said.

"We still cannot spot the specific location."

On Monday morning, four groups comprising about 30 rescuers were still 1,000 meters from the site, he said.

They faced tremendous difficulty in recovering the bodies, said Huang Jizhou, an official with the management bureau of the Siguniang Mountain in Aba Tibet and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.

The bureau received a phone call at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday from another two Russian tourists who survived the avalanche, saying their companions were buried on Wednesday while taking photos on the mountain.

But rescuers could not communicate well with the Russians due to language barriers, Huang said.

The four Russians, three men and a woman, went to the Changpinggou scenic site on Oct. 20

 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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