Tibet highway avalanche death toll rises to 13

BEIJING (Reuters) – The death toll in an avalanche that buried vehicles outside a road tunnel in Tibet has risen to 13 as rescue efforts continue, authorities said on Friday.
Footage from the scene at the exit of the tunnel linking the town of Nyingchi in southwestern Tibet with the outlying county of Medog showed about half a dozen backhoes digging through the snow up to 3 meters (10 feet) deep.
Tons of snow and ice crumbled over the mouth of the tunnel on Tuesday night, trapping drivers in their vehicles. Many of them were returning home for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday which begins on Sunday.
Authorities say some 1,000 rescuers and dozens of emergency vehicles were involved in the effort, with the central government Ministry of Emergency Management sending a team to help.
Nyingchi sits at an elevation of around 3,040 meters (9,974 ft), about a five-hour drive from the regional capital Lhasa along a highway opened in 2018. Winter nighttime temperatures regularly drop well below zero.

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