Tibet avalanche death toll rises to 28; search for survivors ends

BEIJING - Search and rescue operations after a devastating avalanche that engulfed travellers on a Tibetan highway have ended, Chinese state media reported, with the death toll now at 28.

The snowslide occurred on Tuesday evening at the exit of a mountain tunnel in south-eastern Tibet.

It trapped a number of people in their vehicles.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management sent a disaster response team to the region the following day.

The death toll from the incident had risen to 28, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

“The search and rescue operation came to an end at 5.30pm Friday,” Xinhua said, citing the rescue authorities.

The avalanche at the Duoxiongla Tunnel was “triggered by powerful winds and rising temperatures on Tuesday”, experts from the local emergency rescue headquarters told Xinhua.

Avalanches are common in the Himalayas, home to the world’s highest mountains.

Last October, at least 26 people died when a mountaineering expedition was caught in an avalanche on Mount Draupadi ka Danda-II in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand. AFP

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