49 film workers missing in Caucasus mountains
VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia — Rescuers searched for those still missing in an avalanche in southern Russia — including popular Russian actor Sergei Bodrov Jr. and a crew shooting a movie he was directing in the area.
The avalanche Friday in North Ossetia, a region of towering peaks high in the Caucasus Mountains, left as many as 150 people dead.
Officials said 49 people from the film crew or local support staff were missing, while nine were safe — seven who were not with the others and two who got out of the disaster area.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s minister of emergency situations, arrived in the town, about 940 miles southeast of Moscow, for a firsthand look Tuesday.
Sergei Bodrov’s famous film director father and the father’s wife also arrived in North Ossetia on Tuesday with Shoigu.
In addition to recovering bodies, workers were attempting to restore the road from the town of Gizel to the village of Kaban, which has been left totally isolated as a result of Friday’s avalanche. About 3,000 people there are relying on helicopter drops of food, and there is no drinking water.
No more survivors found
Some 300 rescue workers were in the area, but there was no news Tuesday of more survivors being found.
One man reported missing was found unhurt Monday, the same day two bodies were found, a duty officer at the rescue headquarters said, bringing the total to eight, while officials earlier said 17 villagers whose homes were destroyed were considered dead, though their bodies have not been found.
According to a list compiled from inquiries by relatives, 113 people are still missing, said Alan Doyev, a press spokesman for the Interior Ministry of North Ossetia.
The list could grow as information comes in on shepherds and watchmen at remote tourist camps high in the mountains.
Officials feared hikers and campers may also have been in the area, a destination for excursions among residents of the regional capital Vladikavkaz.