MOSCOW, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Six schoolchildren were trapped in an avalanche that hit Russia's Tuva Republic on Sunday, the Emergency Situations Ministry said, adding an An-74 plane has been sent for search and rescue work.
The avalanche, which occurred at around 02:10 p.m. Moscow time (1010 GMT) in the Mongun-Taiginsky district, had buried seven children. A 17-year-old child got out the scene and informed local authorities of the incident.
Six school students born in 1995, 1996 and 1999 were still missing, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Tuva's First Vice-Prime Minister Sholban-ool Irgit as saying.
"The rescue operation is likely to be complicated at night time. Moreover, the threat of avalanches remains in force," Irgit said.
Four ambulances, 11 rescuers, nine policemen had been dispatched to the scene before the plane arrived.
The snowpack was some five meters deep, 200 meters wide and 600 meters long. A hotline of the Tuva republican emergency situation department was opened.
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