Russian Emergency Minister for ceasing rescue works in Karmadon Gorge

Russian Emergency Minister Sergei Shoigu has supported the conclusions of the committee that recommended to cease rescue works in the Karmadon tunnel /the republic of Ossetia, North Caucasus/.

"Divers' examination showed that the tunnel is almost full of mudflow mass," he told journalists on Tuesday.

The minister had listened to the report of his deputy Gennady Korotkin who had visited the Karmadon gorge and ordered him to submit the committee's conclusions to North Ossetia's leaders. The committee comprises glaciologists, geologists, meteorologists and doctors.

Early on Tuesday, top-notch diver Vitaly Yakunin dived in the hole made in the tunnel's roof. There he found a spherical cavity, approximately 2 meters in diameter. The height of water above the cavity was 4 meters.

This allows drawing the conclusion that the tunnel is full of thick mudflow mass comprised of pebble gravel, Korotkin pointed out. Samples of soil taken in the tunnel did not show the presence of artificial elements. Water samples are now being examined. The distance between the mudflow mass and the tunnel's roof does not exceed 1.5 meters. "The committee believes further works in such conditions are dangerous and hopeless," Korotkin emphasised.

Rescue works on the spot where a glacier went down on September 20th last year will continue during glaciers' natural melting, Shoigu pointed out.

The minister gave Korotkin a number of instructions on further investigation around the glacier.

The avalanche killed over 100 people who were there when the glacier broke off. Bodies of the most of them were not found.

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