Kathmandu: At least 28 people, mostly local Tibetans have died as an avalanche engulfed a highway in the Tibetan Himalayas on Friday, and a search and rescue in war footing has discovered all the bodies, Chinese media said.
The search for victims and possible survivors has come to its near end by Saturday, with all the missing accounted for, Chinese state media said.
The state authorities deployed a 1,300 –strong rescue team which fanned out to high altitude slopes after the avalanche was first reported on Tuesday evening which had about dozens vehicles with passengers—most of them celebrating Lunar New year holiday –trapped.
Official media Xinhua said at least 50 people were rescued alive. Five of them who sustained serious injuries had been hospitalized.
Almost all the deaths were caused by hypothermia and a lack of oxygen, state broadcaster CCTV said.
Strong winds and unseasonably warm weather had triggered the snowslip in the steep slopes 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) above sea level, both Xinhua and CCTV said citing initial weather reports.