Tibet avalanche kills 28 people as search and rescue called off

China Tibet Avalanche (Xinhua)
China Tibet Avalanche (Xinhua)

The search for survivors came to an end late on Friday after an avalanche in Tibet left 28 people dead, Xinhua reported, citing local rescue authorities.

Search and rescue came to a halt at 5.30pm on Friday in the city of Nyingchi in southwestern region of Tibet, the news agency reported.

Local authorities sent a total of 1,348 people and 236 equipment to help excavate a rescue passage of 7.5km (4.66 miles), according to Xinhua.

Fifty-three survivors were found, five of them seriously injured, the official Global Times reported, citing a local government official.

“The snow was so deep it was as high as to people’s waist, and the road is very slippery. Many rescue workers stumbled all the way there,” a local health centre employee told Global Times.

The avalanche occurred on a section of road between Pai village in Mainling county and the exit of the Doxong La tunnel in Medog county at around 8pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, with people and vehicles stranded.

With an altitude of nearly 4,500m (14,764ft), Doxong La mountain has steep slopes and Doxong La section of the road is rugged. The avalanche was triggered by strong winds as the weather gets warm, Xinhua said.

(Additional reporting by agencies)