Avalanche kills 5, traps 9 in NW China county

08:56, January 27, 2010      

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Five people were confirmed dead and another nine were trapped after an avalanche occurred Tuesday morning in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

According to the regional emergency office, the tragedy happened at around 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at Narat town of Xinyuan county, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, burying five passers-by and more than 240 head of livestocks.

Bodies of the five, who were in an off-road vehicle, have been retrieved by rescuers, according to the prefecture's highway management department.

The nine people and the livestocks remained trapped by 7:50 p.m. Sources with the regional emergency office told Xinhua that it would take three to four days to clear the snow by manpower and mechanical tools to rescue the trapped.

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