An Il-76 Russian Emergencies Ministry plane arrived in Kyrgyzstan on Friday at 12:10 p.m., Moscow time. The ministry's information department told RIA Novosti that the plane brought 27 Russian rescue workers who will take part in the search for mountain climbers who were swept by an avalanche on the Khan Tengri peak in the Issyk Kul region of the republic.
"The rescue workers who arrived in Kyrgyzstan include the Aeromobile Group Tsentrospas, the Lider Center for special risk operations and members of the Sub-Elbrus and North Ossetian Rescue Services from the North Caucasus, who have a large amount of experience of working in the mountains," a spokesman for the ministry said.
He added that there were also doctors and three cynologists with sniffer dogs specially trained to search for people buried under avalanches. The rescue workers are well equipped, which will make it possible for them to work in the mountains for several days.
Presently, the group is heading to the town of Karakol where they will take a helicopter to base camp on the Khan Tengri mountain at an altitude of 4,200 meters," the ministry's spokesman said.
According to the ministry, the avalanche swept 14 Russian, Ukrainian and Czech mountain climbers. Six of them died, two have been hospitalized and the fate of the remaining six is unknown.
Earlier, the Kyrgyz Emergencies Ministry reported that a team from the Republican Federation of Mountain Climbing and Tourism had been working at the site of the accident since Friday morning, but avalanches were continuing making their work very difficult.
The tragedy occurred early Thursday morning at the height of more than 6,000 meters between the Khan Tengri and Chapayev peaks.
The Khan Tengri peak (7,010 meters) is believed to be one of the most dangerous peaks in the world. It has a 6A class of difficulty.