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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rescuers Unable to Reach Tajik Avalanche Site

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan - An avalanche tumbled through a mountain pass in Tajikistan, burying a car carrying four people, emergency officials said Wednesday.

The avalanche occurred on Sunday, piling 20 meters of snow on top of the car. But rescuers have been unable to reach the site, said Abdunakhim Radzhabov, Tajikistan's deputy minister for emergencies and civil defense.

He said that the Anzob mountain pass, some 80 kilometers north of the capital Dushanbe, had been closed Dec. 5 because of the danger of snowslides. However, travelers sometimes risk their lives traveling by car because airplane tickets are prohibitively expensive for the majority of people in this impoverished former Soviet republic.

Radzhabov said it was doubtful that the four people caught in the avalanche could have survived, but that rescuers were nonetheless continuing their attempts to reach the car.