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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anxiously Awaiting Word of Bodrov Jr.

APA view Monday of the ice, rocks and debris that raced down a mountain in North Ossetia after a chunk of glacier 150 meters high broke off. The village Kami is in the foreground.
Producer Sergei Selyanov was one of the first of Sergei Bodrov Jr.'s friends to fly south to the North Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz, on Sunday.

He had little to report by Monday afternoon.

"I am keeping in constant contact with all the rescue services, but there has been no news so far," Selyanov said, his voice trembling, in a telephone interview.

Popular movie star Bodrov, 30, and his crew were in the North Ossetian mountains shooting footage for his upcoming film "The Messenger" when an avalanche roared through the Genaldon and Gizeldon gorges Friday night.

His relatives, associates and fans were on edge Monday, waiting for reassuring news about Bodrov and the other 48 missing members of the film crew. Only nine crew members were safe -- seven who were not with the others and two who managed to flee the disaster, officials said.

One of the seven film crew members said in an interview published Monday that he was back at a hotel Friday evening when the disaster occurred. He said he got a call on his cellphone from a woman in the crew, and she said an avalanche was bearing down on the group.

"The girl only had time to say that an avalanche was headed for them. After that the connection was cut off, and whenever I tried to call, nobody answered," Alexei Ternovsky was quoted by Izvestia as saying.

Selyanov, who produced most of Bodrov's films, including "The Messenger," said Bodrov's father, Sergei Bodrov Sr., arrived in Moscow from his home in Los Angeles on Monday and was due to fly out to Vladikavkaz.

For MT

Bodrov during the filming of "Brother 2."
As news broke Monday afternoon that a 60-year-old villager had been rescued, Bodrov's associates spoke with cautious hope.

"We are watching the news and catching every single word," said an official at the VID television company, which made several shows with Bodrov for ORT television in recent years. "We are too afraid to think the worst."

The Emergency Situations Ministry could not confirm reports that the movie crew had detonated explosives in the mountains while filming.

However, Boris Dzgoyev, a top Ossetian emergency situations official, denied that the use of explosives near a glacier could have caused the avalanche, local news agencies reported.

Most national newspapers ran stories with photographs of Bodrov on their front pages Monday.

Kommersant used a photograph of Bodrov in his film debut in 1996 in the Oscar-nominated "Prisoner of the Caucasus," which was shot by his father in the Caucasus Mountains. The Moscow State University graduate with a degree in art history went on to star in 10 other movies.

Bodrov became a nationwide sensation overnight in Alexei Balabanov's blockbuster "Brother," in which he convincingly portrayed the brother of a contract killer who then becomes a killer himself. He starred in the sequel "Brother 2," and later shared the screen with Catherine Deneuve in the 1999 French movie "East-West."

Earlier this year, Bodrov hosted the immensely popular reality show "The Last Hero" on ORT.

He was filling the roles of lead actor, screenwriter and director in "The Messenger."

It was the third time in a century that part of the glacier had fallen -- an occurrence that experts connected to humid, rainy weather over the summer that increased the volume of ice on the glacier.

In 1902, a piece of the same glacier wiped out the village of Genal, killing several dozen people, The Associated Press reported. The government later monitored the glacier, and when it began to grow in the 1960s, barriers were built below. When it did break off in 1969, the barriers helped contain the avalanche and limit the damage.

The government stopped monitoring the glacier in the 1970s.