URUMQI, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Over 400 travelers stranded on a major road in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were rescued Sunday, seven hours after being trapped by a sudden snowstorm.
Gales of 60 km per hour began to whip the Maytas section of Highway 201 at about 7 p.m. Saturday, picking up snow from the ground to form a blizzard, said an official from the Tacheng Prefecture Highway Bureau.
A total of 80 vehicles and 448 passengers were stranded for seven hours, until rescuers guided them to safe areas at about 2 a.m. Sunday, the official said.
The Maytas section of Highway 201 lies in a particularly wind-prone part of Xinjiang. In March 2011, 833 passengers were trapped 17 hours on the road after gusty winds turned into a blizzard.