Siberian Tuva Declares Day of Mourning for Avalanche Victims

KYZYL, March 7 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s East Siberian republic of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, declared on Thursday a one-day mourning for six teenagers, who were killed in an avalanche last week.

Sholban Kara-ool expressed his condolences to relatives and friends of the victims and said that state flags in Tuva would be flown half-mast and entertaining shows on television would be cancelled on March 7.

The avalanche occurred on a remote mountain slope six kilometers (four miles) from the village of Mugur-Aksy in the republic’s Mongun-Taiginsky distinct on Sunday.

Seven boys were planning to plant flags at the top of the mountain – a custom that is believed to bring luck.

One of them, Anton Salchak, 17, a junior European kickboxing champion, managed to escape the snow trap and alerted the regional authorities to the incident.

Five bodies were retracted from under the snow on Wednesday and rescuers will continue the search for the sixth missing teenager on Thursday.


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