Avalanche kills 7 soldiers in Southern Kazakhstan mountains

2017-02-17 15:59:41 GMT2017-02-17 23:59:41(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ASTANA, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Seven soldiers were killed and 16 others rescued in a sudden avalanche in Southern Kazakhstan, the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency reported Friday.

Rangers reported the avalanche and injured military men in the afternoon, and the authorities immediately sent emergency teams to the site.

"The accident took place in more than 110 kilometers away from the city of Taraz (in Southern Kazakhstan region)," said Ruslan Imankulov, a spokesman for Kazakhstan's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

"In this connection, 75 people and seven vehicles were immediately sent to the place of accident and now they are on their way to continue the search and rescue operations," Imankulov said.

"In addition, we have more than 60 soldiers from the same military unit 91678 at the site and first aid teams involved in the search and rescue operations," he added.

The soldiers of military unit 91678 were participating in a scheduled combat training in the Zhambyl region when hit by the avalanche.