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Extreme weather in Xinjiang led to 7 deaths

By Mao Weihua in Urumqi and Zhou Huiying | | Updated: 2022-11-29 13:09
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Seven construction workers were confirmed dead after going missing in extreme weather conditions in Altay city in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, according to a statement released by local government at late night on Monday.

Starting from Nov 20, the strongest cold air recorded in a decade has been sweeping the city, bringing in strong winds, snowstorms and frigid temperatures, the statement said.

At around 11 pm on Saturday, local police received an emergency call reporting eight staff members had gotten lost near the constructing highway linking Altay and Burqin county.

After receiving the report, local government immediately set up a rescue team and successively found the eight worker as of 11:10 am on Sunday and sent them to the hospital.

Seven of them were dead and the other one is in stable condition, the statement said.

Due to the suspension of construction caused by extreme weather, 14 workers on the site began to be transported to nearby town on Saturday evening by two different vehicles.

The first vehicles arrived at the town at 9 pm but the second one carrying eight workers was trapped 500 meters from the construction station.

Failing to pull the vehicle out from the thick snow, they decided to walk back to the station.

According to the person in charge of the station, at around 8:30 pm, strong wind and frigid temperature became more intensified.

The visibility brought by the vehicle light was less than 3 meters and accumulation of snow on some parts of the road exceeded 1 meter, leading to the eight workers getting lost.

A working team has been organized by local government and related construction project units for the aftermath and further investigation, said the statement.

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