Chinese relief copters deliver rescuers, goods in blizzard-hit Xinjiang

09:42, January 24, 2010      

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Several people are transported to safe place in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jan. 23, 2010. Two Chinese military helicopters on Saturday delivered 10 rescuers to Altay in blizzard-hit Xinjiang to search for the missing people. The 14 people trapped in blizzard-hit areas of Xinjiang had been rescued by the military and sent to hospital for treatment. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)


Two Chinese military helicopters on Saturday delivered 10 rescuers to Xemirxek in Altay in blizzard-hit Xinjiang to search for seven missing people.

Niu Zhigang, vice chief of staff of the Altay sub-command of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region military area, said the rescue team was led by an official of the Altay government and consisted of members of a local ski team. They brought with them satellite phones and food.

"They will search in an area of 100 square km in the mountain area, where the seven were reported missing," said Niu.


A helicopter rescues trapped people in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jan. 23, 2010. Two Chinese military helicopters on Saturday delivered 10 rescuers to Altay in blizzard-hit Xinjiang to search for the missing people. The 14 people trapped in blizzard-hit areas of Xinjiang had been rescued by the military and sent to hospital for treatment. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)


Up to 2 meters of snow has fallen in Halahate and Zuhalagai, about 120 kilometers from downtown Altay, cutting ground access to the areas.

Seven people were missing and 14 others were trapped in the blizzard local authorities said Thursday.

Peng Xinguo, chief of staff of the Xinjiang military command, said the 14 trapped had been rescued by the military and sent to hospital for treatment.


A helicopter delivers relief goods for local residents in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jan. 23, 2010. Two Chinese military helicopters on Saturday delivered 10 rescuers to Altay in blizzard-hit Xinjiang to search for the missing people. The 14 people trapped in blizzard-hit areas of Xinjiang had been rescued by the military and sent to hospital for treatment. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)


He said the missing and the trapped were among a group of 23 illegal gold diggers overtaken by a snowstorm on Jan. 13, when they were trying to retreat from Halahate, a remote mountainous area in Altay Region.

Only two managed to reach the destination of Zuhalagai, also in Altay, with serious frostbite.


Rescuers search for trapped people in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Jan. 23, 2010. Two Chinese military helicopters on Saturday delivered 10 rescuers to Altay in blizzard-hit Xinjiang to search for the missing people. The 14 people trapped in blizzard-hit areas of Xinjiang had been rescued by the military and sent to hospital for treatment. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)


Liu Jun, a pilot with the Xinjiang military area, told Xinhua, that beside the rescue team, the helicopters airdropped 3.5 tonnes of relief goods in the river valley of Kelumutu and three villages in Altay on Saturday.

Blizzards and extreme cold since late December are seriously affecting transport in Xinjiang. The latest cold snap in northern Xinjiang pushed temperatures in some areas to nearly minus 46 degrees Celsius, killing at least four people and injuring more than 600.


Source: Xinhua
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