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Search and Rescue Under Way for 6 Teenagers in Tuva Avalanche

A search-and-rescue operation to save six teenagers buried under between 4 and 6 meters of snow is under way in the Siberian republic of Tuva.

An avalanche trapped the teenagers on Sunday near the village of Mugur-Aksy in Tuva, approximately 100 kilometers from the Mongolian border, RIA-Novosti reported Monday.

One teenager caught by the avalanche managed to dig himself out and alerted rescue workers of the others before being taken to a hospital for medical treatment. The teenagers are all between 16 and 18 years of age.

The search was called off temporarily on Sunday evening due to dangerous weather conditions and the threat of more avalanches but resumed at 8 a.m. local time.

Both professional rescue workers and volunteers are assisting in the operation, including search parties from the neighboring republic of Kazakhstan, the city of Krasnoyarsk and the teen who escaped.

According to the Tuva administration's press office, there are also medics at the scene.

The group of teens is believed to have been skiing when the avalanche struck.

President of the Tuva Republic, Šolban Kara-ool, has asked Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov for maximum cooperation as the search-and-rescue mission continues.

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