Information on the search operations of missing mountaineers in the territory of Guba district

An operational meeting was held at the Operational Center formed by the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the territory of the search and rescue region, in connection with the search for mountaineers who went missing in the mountainous area of Guba district. Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations, Medical Service Lieutenant-General Faig Taghi-zade, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Firdovsi Aliyev, Administration of the Operational Center, heads of the structures involved in search and rescue operations, as well as professional mountaineers and the Austrian experts participated in the meeting.

The works carried out in relation to the search of the missing mountaineers and tasks for the coming days have been reviewed at the meeting. It was noted that the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) started the search and rescue operations on December 27. A team of the Special Rescue Service, manpower and related techniques of the Civil Defense Troops, a rescue team of the Northern Regional Center, “Mi-17” helicopter of Aviation Detachment of MES and specially trained dogs were involved in the search operations. A team from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and a group of professional mountaineers and volunteers joined the operations, as well.

The search and rescue operations are conducted in highland massif (at an altitude of 2500-3000 meters above sea level) with a complex relief and in severe meteorological conditions. From December 31 to January 1, weather conditions deteriorated sharply: the temperature dropped, the snow fell. Because of the intensive snowfall, there is a possibility of another avalanche in the territory, where the search and rescue operations are being conducted. In the territory where the missing mountaineers supposedly are, the level of the snow is 8 - 12 meters. The search and rescue operations and other activities became harder due the current environmental and weather conditions. Therefore, the SAR operations are conducted restrictedly (in order to ensure the safety of rescuers), but continuously.

Three experts on mountain rescue operations from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Austria visited the site on January 5. Foreign experts inspected the territory, where the missing mountaineers might be, and came to the conclusion that conduction of search and rescue operations are dangerous in the existing conditions.

After the operational meeting, there was a press-conference for representatives of mass media and related questions were answered. Then, media representatives visited the site to be familiarized with the rescue techniques and equipment used in the operations, Center’s work and the conditions created for resting of the rescuers.

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